Aussie nursery retailer’s record sales, plans expansion into NZ in 2023
Baby Bunting has recorded total sales of $239.1 million for FY22 (first half), up 10 per cent, with same store sales up 6.8 per cent.
In line with the current trend, online sales increased significantly, making up 23.8 per cent of total sales, up from 19.7 per cent of sales in the same period last year.
Baby Bunting’s CEO and managing director, Matt Spencer, says the business had an exceptional first half in what were, again, some challenging conditions.
“Through great work by the Baby Bunting team, we achieved record sales and grew gross profit, without compromising value to the consumer,” he says.
Store expenses as a percentage of sales remained consistent with the prior corresponding period at 19.8 per cent of sales. This includes the opening of four new stores and two store relocations during the half.
“We operate in a less discretionary category supplying the essential needs of new and expectant parents. As such, we were pleased to keep all of our stores open for our customers during the lockdowns that occurred in the first half. Our store performance was supported by our strengthened digital offer including click and collect and online sales.”
Indeed, online sales (including click and collect) grew 32.6 per cent to $56.8 million. Click and collect grew 46.4 per cent and made up around 59 per cent of all online sales in catchments where Baby Bunting has a store. This means about 90 per cent of all sales involve a customer store visit in these catchments, reinforcing the importance of stores in servicing parents’ needs, Spencer adds.
“Our merchandise and supply chain teams have done a fantastic job in ensuring that we have maintained high levels of inventory during these times. We continue to focus on providing a great range of products at great value, every day.”
Covid-19 continues to impact the business including its expansion into New Zealand. The opening of the first Baby Bunting New Zealand is currently expected in early FY 2023. A further two to three stores are expected to open in the second half.
“Baby Bunting remains focused on executing its strategy of growing market share. We will continue to leverage our investments in our transformation program and growing our product range including exclusive relationships with suppliers and our own private label offering. We will also expand our services business and continue to strengthen our logistics and supply chain capabilities,” says Spencer.
“Given our growth over the last two years, we will review our store network plan to assess potential growth opportunities. Leveraging our digital headless architecture, we intend to enhance the online experience and continue to expand our range of products online.
“Ultimately, as the strength of our offer grows and our customer engagement increases, we will assess the broader $5.1 billion baby goods market for future long-term growth opportunities, relative to our current $2.5 billion addressable market.”