Card Factory has reported lower high street footfall and a dip in profits in its full-year report, but this is not preventing the retailer from opening new shops.
For the retailer’s fiscal year to January 28, pre-tax profits dipped by 1.1 per cent to £82.8 million, while total sales grew by 4.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, like-for-like sales edged up by only 0.4 per cent, which could be attributed to the ongoing trend for lower footfall on the high street.
Card Factory also opened 51 new shops during the year, which means it ended the fiscal year with 865 shops in its estate.
The retailer still has its ambitions set on achieving a target of 1200 shops, including opportunities in the Republic of Ireland.
With these growth ambitions come plans to grow like-for-like sales in existing shops, as well as finding ways to cut costs, and bring its online gifting business, gettingpersonal.co.uk, back to profitable growth.
Card Factory also increased its store wages by £6.7 million as a result of the new National Living Wage and has implemented hedging minimise the impact from the devalued sterling as a result if the Brexit referendum last year.
“Having joined the group just over a year ago, I have undertaken a detailed strategic review of the business and I am confident that our existing, proven four pillar strategy is the right one to ensure future business growth,” Card Factory chief executive Karen Hubbard said.
“However, with the benefit of fresh eyes, I believe that within the four pillars there are additional opportunities to further strengthen the business for the longer term, and these will be prioritised in the year ahead.
“Over the last year, it is that established strategy which has allowed us to deliver a good performance in a challenging retail market.”