Card Factory boss Karen Hubbard has said not passing prices onto its customers is an “active choice” not dictated by the retailer’s value proposition.
Hubbard said that there was “plenty of clear blue water” between the price proposition of the retailer and its competitors Clintons and WHSmith.
She added that Card Factory could opt to put up prices but was determined to soak up cost price increases internally.
Hubbard spoke to Retail Week on the day of the retailer’s interim results. Card Factory’s sales rose but profits fell during the six months to July 31.
“While profits have declined to some extent, what I would say is that we have still delivered a really healthy profit and return,” she said. “We have made a choice not to put up prices rather than passing increases on to the consumer.
“I think it’s paying dividends in terms of good strong footfall and basket size. For us it’s the right strategy.”
She added: “We just think that [to raise prices would be] a short-term reaction,” she said. “We would rather focus on becoming more efficient. We think we do have a choice, there is plenty of clear blue water between us and them [Clintons and WHSmith].”
She listed Card Factory’s supply chain, which sees 98% of product manufactured in-house, and productivity as two key areas for potential cost savings, and ruled out redundancies.
Hubbard added that she wanted certainty from the government on Brexit.
She said: “I think I would really ask for a bit of confidence. Both the general public and business leaders want a bit of certainty, it would help all of us to ready ourselves and know how to respond.”
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