Hobby retailer The Works has seen annual sales slump by 19% despite soaring online revenues after its shops spent long periods shuttered due to lockdowns.
The discount seller, which offers books and arts and crafts products, has historically relied mainly on in-store sales. It reported revenues of £206.2 million for the 53 weeks to May 2, down from £254.6 million a year earlier. It closed five stores in the period.
But the company said like-for-like online sales grew by over 120% in the year and "remain significantly ahead" of pre-pandemic levels, while in-store sales since the majority reopened "have been very encouraging".
Bosses cautioned that "there is too much uncertainty" to judge whether strong sales are a result of pent up demand or represent a long term trend, and said the firm would not give profit guidance as a result.
The company said it moves into the new fiscal year "in a strong financial position" after tight control of costs and reliance on the furlough and rent relief schemes.
Chief executive, Gavin Peck, said the year had been "incredibly challenging" and that the firm has been "vastly improving our online offering".
He said: "The period has highlighted the resilience of the business and our ability to both adapt our offer and leverage our multi-channel model.
"Although uncertainty remains, particularly around the shape of the consumer recovery, the Board expects the early progress to continue and remains confident in the future prospects of the business.”
Shares were down 3.3% this morning