Card Factory outlines expansion plans

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CARD Factory is to open another 50 stores this year as demand increases for its budget greetings cards.

The Wakefield-based retailer, which floated in May valued at £766m, said like-for-like sales rose 2.6 per cent in the six months to July 31.

The group opened 36 stores over the half year, bringing the total number to 749. This growth helped total sales rise 8.9 per cent over the six month period.

Chief executive Richard Hayes said the chain has a strong pipeline of opportunities for new stores.

The group has seen strong demand for its cards, most of which sell for under £1 with some priced at less than 50p.

It benefits from in-house design, printing and warehousing, which significantly reduces external costs and keeps the price down for customers. ​​​It designs and manufactures cards in Yorkshire and also uses third party providers.​

“The group continued to trade well in the first half of the current financial year with good growth coming from the existing store estate and new store roll-out programme, as well as from our smaller but developing online proposition​,” said Mr Hayes.​

Interim results are due to be published on September​ 18.​

Card Factory has 6,500 staff across the country, including 1,000 in Yorkshire. It plans to increase its store estate from 7​49​ to 1,200 over the coming years.

“Since our first store was set up in Wakefield in 1997, Card Factory has firmly established itself as the leading specialist retailer in the large, resilient and growing UK​ ​greeting cards market​,” said Mr Hayes.