Card Factory makes post-lockdown recovery
Card Factory has said trading in the 11 months to 31 December was ahead of expectations after trade was boosted by the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
The greeting cards retailer said the restrictions resulted in its stores being closed for around 20% of the available trading days, but from April, when stores reopened, like-for-like store sales moved towards pre-Covid-2019 levels as consumer confidence returned.
Trading made a particularly strong recovery in December when like-for-like store sales returned to similar levels as in December 2019.
Total sales of £337.3 million were ahead of expectations, yet below the £424.5 million for the pre-Covid eleven months to 31 December 2019. Looking at stores, sales of £310 million represented a like-for-like decline of 5.4% on a two-year basis, and a fall of just 0.8% compared to the prior year.
Meanwhile, online sales increased by 23.3% on a two-year basis to £22.2 million.
Darcy Willson-Rymer, Card Factory chief executive, said: “We continue to see improved trading performance across all channels, with transaction volumes in our stores outperforming high street footfall recovery, demonstrating the loyalty of our customers and strength of the brand. The customer response to our Christmas ranges was particularly strong, across both card and complementary product ranges.”
Card Factory said it expects to be able to offset inflationary pressures to an extent through price increases across its ranges, although it does anticipate there being some margin pressure during the next financial year as inflationary headwinds continue to impact the business.
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