Card Factory proved yet again that it is performing ahead of general retail patterns reporting a 5.5% increase in total sales and like-for-likes up by 1.2% in the six months to July.
However, ceo Karen Hubbard admitted that the drop in footfall as well as a pervasive feeling of uncertainty had dampened the chain’s performance.
“We are cognisant of the economic and political uncertainty and weaker consumer confidence,” she stated, admitting that while the company remains “broadly” on track for the full year, it is hedging its bets in the event of a no-deal Brexit and has started stockpiling, thereby increasing costs in the short-term.
The UK’s largest specialist card retailer, which is now nudging close to that magical 1,000 store milestone (trading from 979 stores as at July 31), having added an additional 26 stores during the previous six months. Added to this is the brand’s presence in other stores, notably Aldi and Matalan in the UK and Reject Shop in Australia.
While the media coverage of the retailer’s results was largely positive, The Times went in heavy on the fact that Card Factory’s Father’s Day sales did not match the record breaking Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Da events experienced by the multiple. Under the heading of ‘Card Factory flops as Father’s Day misses the post’, misaligned with the news that its sales were actually well up, the newspaper used an image of David Beckham on Father’s Day to attract attention.
The new item then cited research findings from analytics company Global Data, based on a poll of 2,000 consumers, which revealed almost a third believed that Father’s Day was less important than Mother’s Day. The newspaper quoted how the proportion of those polled who bought cards for Father’s Day fell to 68.5%, down from 73.4% a year earlier.
Top: Card Factory is edging close to a 1,000 store milestone.