Card Factory reports strong Christmas demand as sales recover after the pandemic lockdowns

Budget greetings card retailer Card Factory said that its sales are recovering and customers are responding well to its Christmas ranges.

The Wakefield-based firm said that festive products are selling well at this early stage of the season, leading to the accelerated introduction of the third phase of Christmas cards and complementary products into 350 stores.

The group said that two-year like-for-like sales (compared with the equivalent quarter to the end of October 2019, pre-Covid) showed gradual improvement. Two-year store like-for-like sales were down 3 per cent in the 2021 quarter to the end of October 2021.

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Average basket value over this quarter continued to exceed pre-pandemic levels (up 22.5 per cent on a two-year like-for-like basis), offsetting lower transaction numbers ( down 21 per cent on a two-year like-for-like basis).

Card Factory said that average basket value exceeded pre-pandemic levels

Card Factory said that online trading is in line with its expectations, with the stronger performance of Getting Personal offsetting a reduction in sales from cardfactory.co.uk. Both brands are performing ahead of pre-pandemic levels.

The firm said that a relatively small proportion of products sourced from the Far East is subject to the widely reported supply chain delays, but it believes that its contingency planning will ensure any delays to store deliveries are minimised and short lived.

It added that recruitment of seasonal store staff has started strongly.

Darcy Willson-Rymer, Card Factory's chief executive, said: "We continue to see improved performance of the business as customers steadily return to shopping in stores.

"This gives us confidence as we engage to realise the refreshed strategy and build our omnichannel offering.

"We look forward to the future and the continued implementation of our strategy. We are confident that the group is well placed to take advantage of the growth opportunities available to it."

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