The Works sees turnover drop but bosses hail ‘resilient’ performance

Retailer The Works says it delivered a “resilient” performance for the year ending May 2, despite revenues dropping by 19%.

The company, which sells arts, crafts, toys, books and stationery, turned over £206.2m over the period, down from £254.6m a year ago.

Immediately following the Government’s announcement of the most recent lockdown in early January 2021, the company revised its internal profit forecast. The final FY21 figure is expected to be in line with this forecast.

Gavin Peck, chief executive officer of The Works, said: “Like many retailers, the last 12 months have been incredibly challenging for The Works, which has historically relied mainly on in-store sales. Our business was severely impacted by successive lockdowns and forced closures of our entire store estate.

“Despite this, the period has highlighted the resilience of the business and our ability to both adapt our offer and leverage our multi-channel model. Since we couldn’t control store closures we focused on the things we could, keeping tight control of costs, optimising our operations and vastly improving our online offering. As a result, our financial position remained strong, online growth exceeded our expectations, and when stores re-opened we saw customer demand returning quickly to pre-COVID levels.

“I am incredibly proud of our colleagues who have supported each other so brilliantly and the unique culture at The Works that has enabled us to withstand this difficult year and emerge quickly and optimistically as a stronger business. Although uncertainty remains, particularly around the shape of the consumer recovery, the board expects the early progress to continue and remains confident in the future prospects of the business.”

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