Card Factory must develop multichannel proposition

Card Factory enjoyed strong growth for its online business over the past year but management acknowledged it needs to develop a more integrated multichannel approach if it is to drive greater digital sales across the group in the future.

Alongside the reporting of full-year results (for the year ended January 31), which showed like-for-likes group sales dipping a disappointing 0.1% and overall revenues hitting £463 million, Card Factory delivered strong sales at its online store – up 56.3% on last year.

A decline in footfall on the high street dragged down the performance at its 950 stores around the UK and highlighted how the company needs to place greater emphasis on the development of its digital capabilities.

“In order to attract more customers to our website, we know we need to continue to improve the customer experience and the way in which our customers can interact with us both online and in-store and this is a key opportunity which we will be developing in FY20,” said Karen Hubbard, CEO of Card Factory.

A major part of this will be the re-platforming of the business onto a full multichannel solution towards the end of the year, according to Hubbard, who added: “This will enable us to introduce click & collect, in-store ordering and wider range availability to our in-store customers which should drive further footfall and increase average spend and opportunistic purchases in-store.”

The plan is to also further innovate within the company’s personalised product ranges that include its online business, which continues to face challenges. Like-for-like sales over the financial year fell 8.4% with a major factor being the increasing cost of customer acquisition at the site. This impacted EBITDA at the division, which declined to £1.2 million from £2.9 million in 2018.