The Works reports continued surge in online sales as stores reopen

The Works has reported that online sales more than doubled in the 10 weeks up to 23 August, with demand in this channel continuing to surge even with the retailer reopening its physical stores from 15 July following the easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

It partly attributes this performance to the launch of a new customer website in July 2020. And the books, stationery, and toys retailer is planning to invest in its eCommerce capacity further to support sales over the peak Christmas trading period.

The Works revealed total sales fell by 26% in the 17 weeks to 23 August, with the retailer heavily impacted by the closure of its physical shops. In the 10 weeks up to 23 August however, overall sales grew 0.7% on a like-for-like basis, with performance since reopening “well ahead of the board’s expectations”.

These figures were published alongside preliminary results for the year ending 26 April, in which the Works increased revenue by 3.5%, “with growth both online and in-store”.

Gavin Peck, chief executive officer of The Works, commented: "Our performance this year demonstrates the resilience of our business and we are pleased to have delivered a creditable performance despite the challenging backdrop. I am incredibly proud of all colleagues for their relentless hard work over the last year and for their commitment and the can-do attitude they have shown during this challenging period.”

He added: "The closure of our entire store estate in March had a significant impact on our business, however we responded to the crisis with agility and were ready to bounce back once safe to do so. Our decisive action in response to the Covid-19 pandemic enabled us to protect colleagues and customers, meet the significant increase in online demand, and minimise the financial impact. We are encouraged by the trading performance since lockdown lifted and will continue to focus on improving our online capacity and customer experience in stores under social distancing as we head into peak Christmas trading."