Michael Hill International CEO Daniel Bracken has lifted the lid on the Australian jewellery retailer’s impressive sales performance during the pandemic, and in the year that followed.
Like many businesses Michael Hill – based in Brisbane and with more than 280 stores operating across Australia, New Zealand, and Canada – struggled during the pandemic, facing a culminated loss of in excess of 10,000 trading days.
Despite the challenge the business has successfully rebounded and reported a year of record sales in July of 2022.
Bracken told The Australian that the retailer’s average transaction value in the past two years has risen 15 per cent.
“The decision we made was that we were going to reposition the brand in a more aspirational way,” he said.
“We had always sat slightly above the mass end of the market in our brand positioning, we’d always been a house of diamonds. But we really hadn’t lent into that, we really hadn’t built a strategy around that and that’s what we set about doing prior to COVID.”
A key focus of this marketing strategy was improving the volume of customers using the Michael Hill loyalty program.
Bracken said that during the pandemic the membership base quadrupled and today sits at approximately 800,000.
“We have every intention of maintaining our strategy and we think that we will be as well placed as anyone to handle a more recessionary environment. If indeed it does come,” he said.
“The key marketing mantra that we’ve been building up at Michael Hill is marking the moments that matter in people’s lives.”
He continued: “We’re not here to sell transactional jewellery, we’re here to sell that whole life cycle from the engagement ring to the wedding band, the first anniversary after the first child is born to the second child, third child, to the fifth anniversary to the 10th.”
Michael Hill was founded in 1979 and is listed on both the Australian and New Zealand markets and paid dividends during the pandemic despite share prices falling to as low as 24 cents in the early stages of 2020. Michael Hill is currently trading above $AU1.