Local non-food convenience retailer The Original Factory Shop has posted a 12.5 per cent total sales growth for its first quarter, according to results published today.
Like-for-like sales over the first quarter ending July 1st 2012 rose 5.5 per cent while growth of its bricks and mortar store network remains a priority.
Over the period, the retailer opened eight stores out of the 15 planned for the year, bringing the total number of stores in its portfolio to 180.
Five further stores have been refurbished in the quarter and the retailer believes that its strategy to serve small local shops has driven sales and demonstrates growth opportunities on the British high street.
Angela Spindler, CEO of The Original Factory Shop, explained: “We are swimming upstream strategically and bucking the trend by opening stores and trading strongly on Britain’s small town high streets.
“We will always be committed to Britain’s small town high streets, and further to the 15 new stores we will open this year, we see there being scope for a network of 450 stores across UK high streets over the medium term.”
While unseasonable weather has detrimentally affected sales for a number of retailers such as Marks and Spencer and Kingfisgher , The Original Factory Shop saw seasonal sales rise, with sales of Gardening equipment soaring 50 per cent year-on-year during the warm period in May.
Sales of homewares products also outperformed the struggling sector, with all homewares categories up over 25 per cent while vacuum cleaner sales boosted sales of electricals, up 30 per cent for the quarter.
Multichannel proved another strong performer for the retailer, which launched its in-store catalogue earlier in the year.
Online sales hit a record high in the week to June 3rd 2012, driven by catalogue sales and the retailer feels that this is due to “a unique approach” encouraging a synergy between its online and in-store offerings.
“We bring our customers something unique – they are delighted to have the opportunity to shop for quality brands and a full non food assortment, locally,” Spindler said.
“We know our customers well, they still enjoy face-to-face interaction, the convenience of compelling local stores and want to save time and money shopping on their local high street.
“Complimenting this is the fast growth of our transactional website and the recent launch of our in-store catalogue. We look forward to continued momentum and growth in 2012.”