Card Factory rolls out 51 new store openings

Card Factory, the Wakefield-headquartered specialist retailer of greeting cards, dressings and gifts, has released a trading update for the 11 months ending at 31st December 2016.

The company experienced an increase in both like-for-like sales and new store openings over the Christmas period.

Year-to-date like-for-like store sales growth improved to 0.4% (11 months ended 31 December 2015: 2.8%).  

Against a strong prior year comparative, Card Factory stores delivered a Christmas trading performance with cumulative like-for-likes for the fourth quarter of the financial year returning to the range of 1% to 3%.

Including sales from cardfactory.co.uk, total Card Factory year-to-date like-for-like sales grew by 0.5% (11 months ended 31 December 2015: 3.0%).

As previously reported, having grown significantly over the previous two years, sales performance at gettingpersonal.co.uk, our online personalised gifting business, has been disappointing this year and continues to be broadly flat.  We continue to target medium term sales growth of at least 10% per annum for this business.

51 net new stores were opened in the period, bringing the total estate to 865 stores as of 31st December 2016.  

Looking towards the next financial year ending 31st January 2018, the company aims to maintain the opening rate of approximately 50 net new stores per annum.

Karen Hubbard, Card Factory’s chief executive officer, said:

"As I approach my first anniversary with the business, it is pleasing to report that Card Factory has traded well through the competitive Christmas trading period with customers once again responding well to our card and non-card ranges.  

“As a result, like-for-like store sales in the fourth quarter of the financial year have returned to our expected range.

"Whilst all retailers will clearly face cost pressures in 2017, the proven strength of our retail proposition, underpinned as ever by our unique vertically integrated model, provides our business with significant competitive advantage.  

“We believe that this will enable us to further increase our market share as we have done every year since the business was formed in 1997."

Original article, Bdaily