Wakefield Headquartered Card Factory sales up despite “challenging” Christmas

New store openings have boosted sales at high street gift card retailer Card Factory, but lower high street footfall has affected Christmas trading.

The listed retailer reported year-to-date group revenue growth of 3.4 per cent for the 11 months ended 31 December 2018. This was boosted by the opening of a net 51 new UK stores, taking the total estate to 973 sites.

Sales from cardfactory.co.uk also grew by 59.1 per cent during the period.

However, like-for-like sales were down 0.1 per cent, which Card Factory said reflected the "continuing weakness in consumer demand experienced across the retail sector in the run-up to Christmas".

Karen Hubbard, Card Factory chief executive, said: "The Christmas trading period was challenging due to lower high street footfall. However, Card Factory performed robustly in this competitive trading period. As a result, like-for-like store sales have remained consistent and in line with our quarter three update in November.

"Although the group has faced significant cost pressures in the year, these have reduced and we have been able to take mitigating action to maintain robust gross margins.

"Whilst we expect ongoing challenges from the consumer and macro backdrop, we continue to lead the market with our proposition, underpinned by our ongoing investment in our unique vertically integrated model which provides our business with significant competitive advantages."