Book retailer Foyles has posted a slump in profits due to construction works impacting sales at its Charing Cross branch as it plans to open a new flagship store less than 100 metres away.
For the year to June 30, 2012, pre-tax profits fell 25.5% to £152,552 but sales edged up almost 3% to £23.5m.
Foyles revealed it is a fourth year of profitable trading for the retailer but said footfall, and therefore sales, at its Charing Cross branch had been hit due to the development of Tottenham Court Road station. It added that this fall had been “partially offset by above-budget trading” at its Westfield Stratford City store.
The five-store retailer said its other London branches traded “satisfactorily”.
Foyles is planning to open a new store in spring 2014. The flagship will be located at 107-109 Charing Cross Road, a former St Martin’s College building.
In the year, Foyles has enhanced its website to offer an extended book range and second-hand books and has improved its ebook store offer and launched an ebook app.
To drive footfall at its Charing Cross store Foyles said it will organise more in-store events, following a day-long Charing Cross Road Festival in partnership with Blackwells and other retailers in June, which generated ” a significant increase” in footfall.
Foyles grew its events programme in the period. Dannii Minogue opened Foyles in Westfield Stratford City while authors and poets including PD James, Lavinia Greenlaw, Jo Shapcott, Evan Davis, Andrew Feinstein, Alberto Manguel and Jasper Fforde attracted “full houses” in Charing Cross Road.
The retailer continued its partnership with Time Out Live, organising external events with best-selling authors, as well as continuing its Jazz and Classical events, and The Gallery at its Charing Cross Road store hosted exhibitions and private hires.
Foyles chief executive Sam Husain said: “The retail environment continues to be challenging, a situation exacerbated by the disruption caused by the Tottenham Court Road underground station development which, as in previous years, has cost us dearly in lost sales. We will continue to plan events such as the Charing Cross Road Fest, which increase footfall significantly.
“It’s too early to comment on Christmas trading this year but we are hopeful that the last few days leading up to Christmas will be as busy as in the previous year.”