Independent group Tasmanian Independent Retailers (TIR) reported solid sales growth and positive retail store investment in a presentation to its member retailers titled, ‘Believe It/Achieve It’, at the TIR Expo and IGA Conference at Wrest Point, Hobart, June 18-19.
TIR’s retailer members operate store formats from large Supa IGA supermarkets through to IGA X-press grocery convenience stores.
TIR CEO, Grant Hinchliffe, updated more than 200 retailers and delegates on the state of the economy, sales overview and key points and drivers for the coming year.
While trading conditions in Tasmania remain tight and in many respects very similar to prior years, official retail trade numbers for the state are showing positive movement, which in part is being supported by an underlying trend of greater confidence by both the consumer and business sectors, Mr Hinchcliffe said.
“From TIR’s perspective, our ongoing growth in both dollar sales and volume movement through the group has continued its upward trend with overall group sales for FY15 forecasted to exceed $252M or 7.68% up on FY14,” he said.
Warehouse forecasted carton sales (ex Statewide Independent Wholesalers) across all categories, with the exception of tobacco, also delivered a strong outcome with collective volume of 3.738M cartons or 3.13% up on the FY14 result.
“There is no doubt that our item and price promotional program and value messaging is much stronger, and more relevant, than what it was under the previous channel structure and corresponding advertising mediums,” Mr Hinchcliffe added.
“The consumer, and the wider market are more price conscious than ever and our value messaging via our advertised item and price promotional program must reflect the same.”
On the subject of retailer investment from within TIR’s retailer network in store refurbishments, ‘Greenfield’ and ‘Brownfield’ development and other general range and offer improvements, this has not tapered off and the level of retailer store spend and investment has remained constant over the past five years.
“Such a level of investment clearly indicates the confidence that many within the IGA Retailer Network have in both the brand and their own business,” Mr Hinchcliffe said.
“In closing, the coming 12 months will be interesting as we implement some new policies and endeavour to reposition the IGA network with a stronger focus on the value message in addition to the many other IGA Retailer support programs that TIR will continue to promote.”