JSE-listed Massmart’s sales for the 52 weeks ended December 27 amounted to R86.5-billion, representing a decrease of 7.7% over the same period in 2019, while comparable store sales decreased by 7.5% year-on-year.
Sales in the group’s South African stores decreased by 7.9% (comparable stores decreased by 7.6%), while sales from its stores in the rest of Africa decreased by 5.4% (comparable stores decreased by 6.6%).
Massmart estimates lost sales as a result of Covid-19 trading restrictions to be around R5.7-billion.
The group will provide further detail on its sales performance when it releases its full-year results on March 8.
Massmart notes that trading for the fourth quarter of 2020 saw many of the previous Covid-19-related trading restrictions lifted, which allowed trading to resume in most categories.
Liquor trading, however, continued to be impacted on by limitations on trading hours, as well as reinstated trading restrictions as announced by the government in December.
Foot traffic and sales remained muted in December, albeit with a stronger sales performance in home improvement and DIY categories.
Total fourth-quarter sales of R25.6-billion represented a decrease of 4.1% over the same period of 2019, with comparable store sales decreasing by 3.6%.
This represented a slight improvement in the trajectory of sales for the second half of the year, which ended with a decrease of 5.9% over the same period in the prior year, and with comparable store sales decreasing by 5.6%.