The Works praises strong Christmas trading

20th January 2023 | Jack Oliver

Value retailer The Works has praised a period of strong trading in the run up to Christmas, and enjoyed ‘resilient’ performance in the first half of its 2023 financial year.

In the 11 weeks to January 15, The Works, who sell books, arts and crafts, stationery, and toys and games, saw like-for-like sales growth of 5.7%, with in-store like-for-like sales up by 9.7%.

However, online sales saw a fall of 14%.

The Works said it was encouraged by strong in-store sales performance, which was expected to strengthen after a relatively weak period in the run up to Christmas 2021, which was marred by the Omicron variant of COVID-19 which drove many away from high street shopping.

It added that store sales were particularly strong in the week immediately before Christmas, perhaps suggesting that many consumers chose to shop later this year in an attempt to seek value when shopping for gifts.

The Works described its poorer online sales as ‘disappointing’, citing lower consumer confidence in online retailers as postal strikes delayed deliveries for many.

The retailer added that solid trading continued into its January sale period, and that it anticipates ending the financial year in a strong position.

Gavin Peck, chief executive officer of The Works, said: “The Works delivered a resilient performance in the first half against the backdrop of an increasingly challenging consumer environment.”

“We have not been immune from the economic headwinds affecting the retail sector, including higher costs which impacted our profitability in the first half more than last year. Although trading conditions were more difficult, we were still pleased to see cost-conscious customers buying into our value offering, which enabled us to deliver positive sales growth overall”, he added.


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