Covid-19: Card Factory enjoys continued online sales surge as stores reopen

Card Factory has reported a huge growth in online sales as, like many retailers, it looks to increasingly focus on this channel following the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the year up to 19 July 2020, like-for-like sales from its eCommerce sites cardfactory.co.uk and gettingpersonal.co.uk grew 68.9%. Unsurprisingly, online sales were especially high during the period of store closures from 23 March to 14 June, when there was an increase of 120.7%.

And the shift to digital has continued following the reopening of Card Factory stores, with like-for-like online sales up 60.5% in the period from 15 June to 19 July.

The UK retailer successfully launched its new cardfactory.co.uk website on 2 July as part of its commitment to enhancing its online operations and improving its multichannel proposition.

In a trading update, the business said it is expecting revenue for the first half of FY21 (1 February to 31 July 2020) to be approximately £100 million, which is a huge decline from £195.6 million in the same period last year. This is due to the 12 weeks of store closures during the lockdown, which Card Factory noted included important occasions like Father’s Day and Easter.

The retailer added that store sales since reopening have exceeded expectations, in light of social distancing restrictions and a reluctance to return to the high street. Sales have fallen 21.6% in the first month of reopening, which is significantly better than an anticipated 50% fall in this period.

The company stated: “The board is pleased with the trading performance since stores have reopened; however, it is far too soon to determine whether initial trading reflects the release of pent-up demand following lockdown or the point at which consumer footfall and sales (both transactions and average spend) will settle to a sustainable level.”