Card Factory announces temporary store closures as coronavirus hits footfall

Mon, 23 Mar 2020 | BUSINESS NEWS

Gift card retailer Card Factory has said it will begin selectively closing stores on a temporary basis after seeing a “very material drop” in footfall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Wakefield-headquartered retailer said it had seen a “satisfactory start to the financial year”, with average basket value growth helping to offset a decline in high street footfall and its online offering performing well.

However, this has been hit by the COVID-19 outbreak and the retailer announced it would close selected stores to protect staff and customers.

The company will also take mitigating steps to manage its cost base and cash flow. These measures include reduction in non-essential capital expenditure and the deferral of replacement equipment at its manufacturing plant. Its new store openings will also be restricted to those it is legally obliged to complete.

The retailer said that it would see a monthly cash saving of £2 million from the government’s reduction in business rates and that short term cash flow would be boosted by the deferral of all HMRC payments to the end of June 2020.

Card Factory has also said it will not declare a final ordinary divided for the year ending January 31 2020. For the year ending January 31 2019, the group saw revenue of £419.7 million and posted statutory profit before tax of £66.6 million and had total current assets of £92.5 million.

The company said: "We remain confident that the long-term demand for cards and gifting remains robust, with people wanting to share sentiment around special occasions. Management remains focused on the delivery of its strategic business improvement initiatives which will ensure that Card Factory is best placed to meet this demand."

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