Statement from Accent Group
With no surety of what lay ahead and with a commitment to our team members, the Company participated in the government wage subsidies in Australia and New Zealand that it qualified for. These subsidies were announced after Accent had taken the decision to shut down nationally. Following Government guidelines, eligible team members received wage subsidies in full while they were not working, or where they did not work sufficient hours to be otherwise paid more than the subsidy. This ensured that our full team was retained while all our stores were closed. With all stores closed, the Company switched focus to drive digital sales and implemented hard cost out measures and inventory initiatives to right size costs and inventory.
In early May, the Company commenced a considered re-opening of stores with new COVID safe protocols and equipment. The balance of wage subsidy payments enabled an acceleration in return to work even though customer traffic in many stores was significantly down on normal levels. In the absence of wage subsidies,many stores would have remained closed. From the beginning of June, all permanent employees were stood up to full hours and full pay. Sales in May and June recovered strongly, driven by the digital performance.
Accent Group's full-year results announcement released to the ASX last week can be viewed here.