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Licensed lines contribute to positive Christmas for Cardfactory

Positive momentum – including an expanded gift offer and the introduction of key licensed lines – has seen Cardfactory deliver double digit like-for-like sales growth to £476.9million as store revenue climbed by 7.8% in November and December.

Ceo Darcy Willson-Rymer applauded the UK’s largest greeting card retailer’s “strong performance over the Christmas period” in the trading statement coving the 11 months to 31 December, 2023, which was released on 16 January.

The retailer had committed to the industrywide #Cardmitment campaign by investing in an extensive nationwide radio advertising campaign reminding the public to send Christmas cards to those they care about, and also ran short adverts on social media to promote festive sales.

Improvements in stock management and replenishment processes enabled the company to capitalise on “particularly strong demand in the second half of December”, as l-f-l store sales in the last two months of the year were up 7.8%.

The retailer saw strong year-on-year growth in seasonal cards, driven by an increased number of transactions and average basket value – open card sales grew by 37%, which Cardfactory said was due to the range development, the continuing To The Pet trend saw a 49% rise, and Wife captions rose by 41%.

And an expanded gift offer and introduction of key licensed ranges is credited with a 45% increase in soft toy sales, and confectionery going up by 77%, marking a combined gifts and celebrations essentials growth of 9.9% l-f-l.

The company said the 10.2% uplift in total sales to £476.9m reflects “continued momentum across the business and execution of our strategy to become the leading, omnichannel retailer in the sector”, and the store revenue’s overall 8.2% l-f-l growth was said to be driven by the value and quality proposition and “the positive impact” of the store evolution programme.

There has also been a “continued positive performance” in everyday and seasonal card ranges, with growth hitting 5.4% in the 11-month period, while there has been a “profitable contribution” from the new partnerships with Matalan and Liwa Trading Enterprises, and the recently-acquired SA Greetings arm in South Africa contributed £9.1m revenue.

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