The Works sales drop as ex-Tesco director joins to replace chairman

The Works has racked up “significant additional costs” to shore up its supply chains for the crucial golden quarter
The Works boss boss Gavin Peck said the retailer was “cautiously optimistic” going into the Christmas period.
// The Works sales drop 19.7% to £180.7m last year
// The company made a loss of £3.6m compared to a profit of £2.4m the year before

The Works has reported a sales drop of 19.7 per cent to £180.7 million last year, when it made a statutory pre-tax loss of £2.8 million versus £18 million the previous year.

The arts and crafts retailer said it is well positioned for the future after navigating the challenges of the pandemic.

The Works made a loss of £3.6 million compared to a profit of £2.4 million the year before.

READ MORE: The Works hails “resilient performance” despite 19% sales drop

The company said that store like-for-like sales increased by six per cent when it was able to trade in the year to May 2, while online revenues soared 120.9 per cent.

In the first 11 weeks of the new financial year to July 18, The Works reported that trading was ”ahead of our internal plan”.

On a two-year basis, like-for-likes were up 13 per cent.

“It has been an intensely challenging year due to the Covid-19 pandemic but, because of our quick action, careful cost management and can-do culture, The Works has emerged as a stronger business,” The Works chief executive Gavin Peck said.

“Whilst we couldn’t control temporary store closures, we focused on the things we could control, such as improving operations, managing costs carefully and continuing to invest in our online offer.

“If, at the beginning of FY21, we had known that our shops would be closed for nearly six months of the year, we would not have expected to achieve this resilient performance.

“The foundations we laid before the pandemic helped us to navigate the year much more successfully.

“We had already begun to de-emphasise store openings in favour of accelerating profitable digital growth, and driving improvements through the existing store estate, with the aim of being not just a bigger version of ourselves, but a better version.

“The net result is that we have ended the year in a strong financial position, with no bank borrowings and are much more effective operationally than we were before the pandemic.”

Meanwhile, The Works chair Dean Hoyle has decided to step down in September after seven years with the company, and is due to be replaced by former Tesco director Carolyn Bradley.

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