Retail Week looks ahead to the next seven days with updates from Walmart and the latest ONS retail sales figures on the agenda.

Card Factory

Card Factory is due to issue a pre-close update to the City on Tuesday.

At its most recent update, for the quarter ending April 30, 2019, the greetings card and gifts specialist posted group sales growth of 6.4% and 2.3% uptick in like-for-like sales.

The retailer noted that its website “also had a good start to the year [with] continued revenue growth, driven by the success of new ranges and designs”.

Boss Karen Hubbard said: “We have had a positive start to the year with like-for-like sales growth despite challenging consumer sentiment and negative footfall on the high street. We have seen a good customer reaction to our seasonal card ranges over the quarter, with yet again record card sales in volumes and value for both Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.”

ONS retail sales figures

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will publish its latest retail sales figures for the three months to July on Thursday.

Some of the most recent data published by the ONS for the three months to April showed sales volumes grew 1.8% during the period, driven by record online sales.

It found that all sectors except department stores and household goods showed growth over the period – in contrast to the BRC-Springboard data, which has consistently found sales declining across most retail categories.


Thursday also brings the second-quarter update for US giant Walmart.

Walmart-owned Asda reported a 1.1% fall in like for likes at its most recent update for its first quarter in May.

Asda also said it achieved double-digit growth on both its and websites and invested heavily in price during the quarter, following the failure of its mooted merger with Sainsbury’s in March.

Following the collapse of the merger, it was widely reported that Walmart was considering floating Asda on the UK stock exchange, as the American retail giant was eyeing a way out of the hyper-competitive UK grocery market.

Watches of Switzerland

Luxury watch specialist Watches of Switzerland is due to deliver its first-quarter results on Friday.

In July, the retailer updated the City for the first time since its June float on the London Stock Exchange, posting soaring pre-tax profits and a 22.5% boost in group revenues.

Sales of luxury jewellery also increased 3% during the year, while both UK and US like for likes increased 10% and 7% respectively.

Boss Brian Duffy said: “I am delighted that the group’s five-year transformation has culminated in a successful IPO on the London Stock Exchange in June this year and I would like to thank all our colleagues for their huge contribution to that achievement.”