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The Works posts strong half year sales rise

The Works has reported better than expected trading in the 26 weeks to 31 October after total sales increased by 17.9% compared to the same period… View Article

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

The Works posts strong half year sales rise

The Works has reported better than expected trading in the 26 weeks to 31 October after total sales increased by 17.9% compared to the same period two years ago.

On a two year basis, like-for-like sales climbed by 14.5% with growth both online and in-store.

In July, the arts, crafts, toy, book and stationery retailer announced that it was moving its focus from new store openings to creating profitable digital growth and driving improvements through its existing store estate. In a statement today, The Works said it had made good progress in this regard as it works to improve the range and merchandising of its core categories, enhance the in-store shopping experience, and improve product availability.

During the period, The Works benefited from strong consumer demand due to more people taking ‘staycations’. It also put in a good  ‘back to school’ performance and has been successful in capitalising on the recent “fidget frenzy” trend. The retailer said there are signs that customers are shopping early for Christmas and hopes the demand will continue into the peak Christmas trading period.

The retailer opened three new stores, closed five and relocated four stores in the period, which means it was trading from 526 stores at the end October.

Gavin Peck, chief executive of The Works, said: “It’s clear from these results that our products resonated extremely well with customers during the pandemic, helping them to read, learn, play and craft through lockdown.  Our strong sales in recent months demonstrate that demand has been maintained and customers continue to value our offer.  It’s particularly pleasing to see that whilst our online sales continue to run at almost double their pre-pandemic levels, store sales are also growing.”

The Works expects its full year results to be in line with its original expectations, despite incurring higher freight costs. The retailer made a conscious decision earlier in the year to secure its supply chain, which means it has the stock it needs to achieve its sales plans.

Peck added: “Looking ahead, we have a fantastic range of products for our customers this Christmas with initial demand for them already very strong.  We are cautiously optimistic about prospects for our peak sales season and our ability to trade through the ongoing supply chain challenges faced by the majority of our sector.”

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