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Gloucestershire Business News

Card retailer sees sales soar in lockdown

Online sales have more than tripled since the coronavirus lockdown forced Card Factory to close its doors.

The greetings card chain, which has stores in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stroud, Cirencester and Tewkesbury, said online like-for-like sales have increased by 302 per cent since lockdown started and are 153 per cent up for the financial year so far.

Card Factory said it will reopen 10 per cent of stores from around 15th June, as reported by Retail Gazette.

The retailer has furloughed more than 90 per cent of its staff and has cancelled its 2019-20 final shareholder dividend payout, in an attempt to preserve liquidity due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It also said it doesn't expect to pay one for the current year.

Card Factory recorded an 11.8 per cent drop in underlying pre-tax profits to £67.2 million for the year ending 31st January, citing operational costs and the increase in the national living wage as key factors. Full-year sales rose 3.6 per cent year-on-year to £451.5 million, while like-for-like sales fell 0.5 per cent, due to weak consumer confidence and declining footfall in the second half.

Despite the dramatic rise in online sales this year, the retailer said Covid-19 has impacted trading and it expects uncertain conditions for some time to come.

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