Tough retail market hits Card Factory

Card Factory's chief executive Karen HubbardCard Factory's chief executive Karen Hubbard
Card Factory's chief executive Karen Hubbard
'‹Budget greetings card firm '‹Card Factory '‹is the latest retailer to report tough trading on the high street as consumers tighten their belts.

​The Wakefield-based firm reported a 0.4 per​ ​cent fall in first​ ​quarter like​-​for​-​like sales, marking a reverse from the growth enjoyed in the previous 12 months, as the weak demand on the British high street took ​its​ toll.

Card Factory, which reported full​ ​year comparable sales growth of 2.9 per​ ​cent in April, said it had suffered in the three months to April 30 as fewer customers ​visited the high street.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

​​Chief ​e​xecutive Karen Hubbard said​: "​We have had a solid start to the year with further sales growth despite an ongoing sector trend of subdued footfall, which impacted the like-for-like performance​.​” ​

The company said in April that it attracted more customers to its high​ ​street stores​, b​ut many retailers were affected ​by bad weather ​​in March​ ​​which kept shoppers at home.

Card Factory left its full​ ​year outlook unchanged and said it ​i​s on track to open about 50 stores in the full year.

The company said overall sales rose 3 per​ ​cent helped by Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Da​y. It opened 10 new stores during the quarter.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

​The firm said revenues at ​its online division ​, which sells cards for special occasions from 99​p, is growing strongly.

In its annual report, Card Factory said sales for everyday occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries contributed nearly 54 per​ ​cent of its overall revenue while the rest came from small gifts like soft toys and party products., its smaller online business that sells personalised gifts ranging from mugs and frames to wine, has been h​it​ by steep discounting and the higher cost of attracting customers.

“Trading performance at Getting Personal has continued to be disappointing”, the company said.

Related topics: