Arts & craft retailer Hobbycraft saw a 12 per cent sales increase for its full year, it has been announced today.
EBITDA rose nine per cent to £15.6 million in the 52 weeks to February 19th 2012 and the retailer has opened a total of 10 new stores over the period as it continues to eye expansion.
With a store development programme centring around a £7 million investment, the company is eager to maximise its exposure on the struggling UK high street.
Catriona Marshall, Hobbycraft CEO, commented: “Behind the scenes, as part of our business transformation programme, the overhaul of our trading and financial systems has continued and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
“We have also invested in our supply chain, worked with new and existing suppliers to eliminate duplicated products and improved stock quality.”
In the hopes of attracting new customers, the specialist retailer has developed a new store format and given greater prominence to ranges including home baking and children’s activities.
Growing its own-label range has also proved a positive move, now accounting for 15 per cent of total sales and the company intends to grow the scope of this offer in the coming years.
Broadening its appeal is crucial then given the current economic climate and Marshall believes that the retailer’s adaptability stands it in good stead for the future.
“2011 was a year of further significant change in every area, and we have seen very good progress in improving the pace, precision, and effectiveness of our management,” Marshall explained.
“A major project has been the complete overhaul of our trading and financial systems, which began in 2011/12 and is continuing in the current year.
“The current economic climate is deeply uncertain and this is naturally affecting consumer confidence in the UK.
“Hobbycraft is, however, well positioned to withstand general retail weakness, given its specialised offer, low ticket price and dedicated customer base.”