Friday 22 January 2021 10:50 am

The Works suffers sharp sales drop over crucial Christmas period

Arts and crafts retailer The Works suffered a sharp drop in sales in the run-up to Christmas after strict lockdown restrictions were put in place over the crucial trading period.

The high street chain said this morning that total sales in the 11 weeks to 10 January declined 24.8 per cent, compared to the same period in the previous year.

Read more: UK retail sales stage tentative recovery over Christmas

Online sales soared 70 per cent higher than the year before, helping to offset some of the impact of store closures.

The Works also updated the market on its half-year performance, with revenue down 7.8 per cent in the 19 weeks ended 25 October. 

Store like-for-like sales were broadly level with the previous year, while online sales doubled.

The firm halved its losses from £8.5m to £4.3m during the half-year period. 

Meanwhile net cash increased to £11.2, compared to debt of £14.1m.

The Works chief executive Gavin Peck said: “With our stores temporarily closed, we are, once again, focussed on maximising sales through our online operations and carefully controlling costs whilst ensuring that we are able to reopen safely when restrictions allow. 

“We are in a strong financial position to face the current challenges and we remain confident in the medium-term growth potential of the business, particularly given the evident ongoing relevance of our proposition.”

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