// Hotel Chocolat reveals 15% rise in Christmas sales
// Boosted by Velvetiser hot chocolate range and new stores
Hotel Chocolat has reported a boost in sales over Christmas that was mainly driven by new store layouts and its bestseller Velvetiser hot chocolate range.
The chocolate retailer revealed a 15 per cent rise in sales in the 13 weeks to December 30, boosted by a five per cent up tick in sales from new stores.
Its Christmas sales were boosted by its Velvetiser hot chocolate, which outsold its initial forecast three fold.
Hotel Chocolat opened 15 new stores in the six months to December and now runs a 117-strong UK store estate.
Meanwhile, the retailer posted a sales uptick across retail, online and wholesale divisions during the festive period and said that trading since December continues to be in line with management expectations.
Hotel Chocolat’s loyalty scheme also gained 400,000 new members during this period, and 85 per cent were in-store customers.
“This was another strong Christmas for Hotel Chocolat,” Hotel Chocolat co-founder and chief executive Angus Thirlwell said.
“Our new store openings contributed five per cent of the growth in the period, with the balance coming from existing stores, digital and wholesale channels.
“Our wholesale partnerships were notable successes with strong growth, balancing lower margins with lighter capital investment.
“Initial customer response to our new location in New York and joint venture store in Tokyo has been very encouraging, demonstrating the global appeal of the Hotel Chocolat brand and its ability to travel overseas.”