The Works remains cautious ahead of Christmas

Books, toys and stationery retailer The Works has seen sales increase through a challenging period, but remain cautious about how consumers may spend during the cost-of-living crisis.

The Sutton Coldfield-based firm says sales were impacted in the first half of the year following a cyber security incident in March, but since June the store’s performance was positive, particularly thanks to a record ‘Back to School’ season.

Total sales for the Period increased by 2.1%, with a total LFL(1) sales increase of 0.6%. Store trading was positive, increasing by 3.5% on a LFL basis, whilst online sales declined by 16.9% (but were still 50% above pre-COVID levels).

In a statement, The Works said whilst it was pleased with the overall trading performance the firm, “remain(s) cautious with regard to how consumer spending might be affected by external factors such as higher inflation and interest rates during the key Christmas season and the remainder of this financial year”.

Gavin Peck, Chief Executive Officer of The Works, commented: “We have delivered a resilient performance in the first half with positive sales growth overall, demonstrating continued progress against our “better, not just bigger” strategy. Our more customer-focused product proposition has continued to resonate, supported by the hard work and fantastic customer service delivered by our colleagues, helping to offset the challenging trading conditions being seen across the market.

“Although it is very difficult to predict what Christmas will look like this year, we believe that the great products and fantastic value we offer will be more important than ever, with families still looking to celebrate Christmas but in a more affordable way. The Works has proven itself to be a resilient business and we remain confident in our ability to make progress on our strategy and deliver growth in the medium term, supported by a robust balance sheet.”