Card Factory founder, Dean Hoyle, who is now chairman, shareholder and non-executive director of The Works is building up to a good Christmas with the value retailer.
The multi-channel retailer has just delivered an impressive trading update, the first since its successful flotation on the London Stock Exchange. Its sales grew 15% year on year for the six months to 28 October and the all important like-for-like sales were up 3.8%.
While its broad base of products means that greeting cards are not a main focus of The Works, since Dean’s involvement (in 2015), not surprisingly there has been a noticeable improvement in the retailer’s card offering.
Dean, who juggles his business responsibility for The Works with his ownership of Huddersfield Town Football Club, when asked recently by PG Buzz what was easier in the current climate, retail or football, he quickly retorted: “Retailing, as long as it’s kept simple!!!!”
A product highlight for The Works in the last period has been ‘Squishes’ which offset in part the sales from the ‘Spinners’ mega trend in the prior year.
During the interim period, The Works continued its store-roll out strategy, opening a net 32 new stores, taking the total number of stores trading to 479. The retailer has said that it remains on track to meet its target of 50 net new store openings for the full-year.
Kevin Keaney, chief executive officer of The Works, commented: “We’re pleased with our performance in the first half of the year, with good sales growth in our existing stores and in e-Commerce, the continued execution of our store opening strategy and a successful IPO. As we enter the busy Christmas period, we remain focused on delivering for our customers through our unique multi-channel offering, which continues to buck the trend in retail.”
One of the first of its kind in the value retail sector is The Works’ “Together” loyalty scheme, which now has over 1.9 million members who receive rewards when they shop.
Top: The Works is on course to open a total of 50 stores this year.