— Finance

Temple & Webster: Online shopping boom ‘permanent’

Australia’s most extensive purely online furniture and homewares retailer says the COVID-19 shopping frenzy is here to stay, pointing to US trends.

Australia’s most extensive purely online furniture and homewares retailer Temple & Webster say the pandemic-induced move to online shopping is “permanent,” and its trading “continues to exceed expectations”.

The company on Tuesday said its strategy – including investing in 3D and artificial intelligence capabilities “to make the customer shopping journey easier” – had been reaffirmed, with buoyant trading suggesting COVID-19 had “permanently accelerated online adoption in the Australian furniture and homewares market”.

“We estimate more than 20 percent of furniture and homewares was bought online in the US during 2020, and we believe Australia is following the same trajectory,” the retailer said.

“We estimate that in 2020, about 9 percent of Australian furniture and homewares were bought online, an almost doubling of the roughly 5 percent bought in 2019. Online penetration in both markets is expected to continue to increase significantly.”

In the update, Temple & Webster said March quarter revenue had more than doubled – up a whopping 112 percent – compared with last year’s corresponding period.

However, this month, revenue growth had slowed to 20 percent, but the company noted April was the fastest-growing month last year due to nationwide lockdowns.

The company says it expects higher levels of profitability than it has previously demonstrated due to more excellent scale benefits, including more repeat customers, which will reduce marketing expenses, and a higher proportion of exclusive products with higher gross margins.

“You only need to look at the US to see how the e-commerce market is playing out and why we remain bullish about the shift from offline to online,” chief executive and co-founder Mark Coulter said.

“We are at the start of this once-in-a-generation shift, and now is the time to put our foot down to secure market leadership and ensure we are the brand for the next generation of furniture shoppers.” The company expects to report 2020-21 at the end of July or early August.

Gemma Broadhurst
Gemma Broadhurst is a 23-year-old computing student who enjoys extreme ironing, hockey and duck herding. She is kind and entertaining, but can also be very standoffish and a bit evil.She is an Australian Christian. She is currently at college. studying computing. She is allergic to milk. She has a severe phobia of chickens

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