Card Factory continues expansion amid strong growth figures

Card Factory continues expansion amid strong growth figures

The specialist retailer has seen growth across its store network and online business as it looks to open 20 more stores by the end of the year.

The UK's leading retailer of greeting cards has seen a like-for-like sales growth of +3.1% while the underlying group has seen sales growth of +6.7%.

This comes as the company continues its expansion with 30 net new UK stores opened this year, bringing the total number of stores to 895. There are plans for another 20 stores in this financial year – on track for a yearly target of 50.

The first trial store for the Republic of Ireland was opened in July, the success of which indicates there will be a number of others popping up in the country.

The company also continues to expand their range of products both online and in store with both personalised and non-personalised items contributing to growth.

Despite headwinds from foreign exchange movements and national living wage, the Group remains highly cash generative, driven by its operating margins, limited working capital absorption and relatively low capital expenditure.

The group puts this down to its “four pillar” strategy for growth:

  • Like-for-like sales growth in existing stores
  • Continuing new store roll out
  • Delivering business efficiencies
  • Development of complementary online sales channel

Karen Hubbard, Card Factory's Chief Executive Officer, said: "It is pleasing to report that the strong sales performance highlighted in our Q1 announcement has continued into the second quarter, delivering a very good first half both in terms of overall and like-for-like store sales.

"Our store expansion programme remains on track and we are pleased with the performance of this year's openings, including strong sales from the increased proportion of openings in retail parks.

"The Board's expectations for the full financial year remain unchanged and I look forward to providing a further update with our half year results next month."

Card Factory began operating in 1997 with just one store and has expanded, mainly through organic growth, into a market-leading retailer with a nationwide presence.

The Group's stores occupy a wide range of locations including high streets in small towns and major cities, shopping centre developments, out-of-town retail parks, and factory outlet centres.