// Card Factory sales drop during festive period as stores closed
// Store sales in the 11 months to December 31 dropped by 38.1% year on year
// Card Factory expects a full-year loss before tax of £10m, with sales down 33% year-on-year
Card Factory has reported a sales decline during the festive period as stores were forced to close under new restrictions.
For the full year to the end of January, Card Factory said it expects a loss before tax of £10 million, with sales down 33 per cent year-on-year.
Store sales in the 11 months to December 31 dropped by 38.1 per cent year on year, with stores being closed on 37 per cent of available trading days.
The gifting and greeting cards retailer said recovery following the first national lockdown exceeded expectations, reaching sustained like-for-like growth in early October.
From October 1 to November 3 when stores were again closed, Card Factory recorded like for like growth of 17.7 per cent.
The retailer accelerated the launch of its Christmas ranges as customers chose to shop for the festivities earlier last year.
Online sales also increased by 137 per cent on a like-for-like basis on cardfactory.co.uk during the 11-month period, while sister website gettingpersonal.co.uk recorded 10 per cent like-for-like growth.
“We have successfully pursued key strategic aims, including the acceleration of our digital capability, a streamlined and more effective ‘newness’ range cycle, the implementation of a pricing architecture enabling material retail price progression, auto-replenishment and stock management in-store, utilising hand-held technology and bringing ESG to the fore in our decision making,” executive chair Paul Moody said.
“Despite the obvious uncertainties in the first half of 2021, I am confident that we have the opportunity to return the business to sustainable profitable growth and will do all that is necessary in the near term to ensure that we can maximise that opportunity.”