Hotel Chocolat’s profits doubled in its last financial year after it launched “chocolate lock-ins” and catered to more health-conscious consumers.
The retailer recorded a 100 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £11.2 million in its full year report ending July, while revenue had a 12 per cent uptick to £105.2 million.
Hotel Chocolat attributed the success of in-store experiences, one of which includes “chocolate lock-ins”, where small groups of ticketed customers visited stores after closing time for “tutored tasting” and “nocturnal private shopping”.
The high street chain also said its “hedonistic” chocolate made with “more cocoa, less sugar” is helping meet demand for healthier treats.
The brand’s new “shop+cafe” format was also highlighted as a reason for its success.
“The Hotel Chocolat brand has continued to strengthen and we have made excellent progress with our three strategic priorities of investing further in our British chocolate manufacturing operations, growing our store estate and developing our digital offering,” chief executive and co-founder Angus Thirlwell said.
“Given the encouraging performance of our retail and internet channels, along with the pipeline of opportunities ahead of us, we are confident of further growth.”
Hotel Chocolat opened 12 new stores in the last fiscal year, taking its total to 94. It has 15 “shop+cafe” stores.