The Works sees losses narrow
The Works has posted a pre-tax loss of £4.3 million in the 26 weeks to 25 October, which was down from a loss of £8.5 million at the same time in the previous year.
The value gift, book and stationery retailer saw its total revenue decline by 7.8% to £88.9 million in period after trading was impacted by store closures during the first Covid-19 lockdown. However, when the first seven weeks of enforced temporary closures were excluded, overall like-for sales increased by 10.6%.
During the half year, The Works worked to improve its online proposition. This included launching a new web platform, increasing fulfilment capacity and boosting online profitability by reducing promotional activity.
Giving an update on trading in the 11 weeks to 10 January, the retailer said total sales declined by 24.8% year-on-year. Taking into account sales from stores that were open and online sales, The Works delivered like-for-like growth of 23.8% in the period with both stores and online showing positive growth. Online sales were strong and 70% higher than during the same time in the previous year.
Gavin Peck, The Works chief executive, said: “Our interim results and trading over the crucial Christmas period reflect a robust performance given the impact of store closures as a result of Government restrictions. When open, our stores have performed well and our online proposition has continued to resonate strongly, supported by the investment we made to increase online capacity.”
Despite the current lockdown, the retailer said it remains optimistic about its prospects once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
Peck added: “With our stores temporarily closed, we are, once again, focussed on maximising sales through our online operations and carefully controlling costs whilst ensuring that we are able to reopen safely when restrictions allow. We are in a strong financial position to face the current challenges and we remain confident in the medium-term growth potential of the business, particularly given the evident ongoing relevance of our proposition.”
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