• Card Factory like-for-likes impacted by “softer” footfall in first quarter
  • Total sales advance 6.5% in three months to April 30
  • Growth driven by new store openings and online performance

Card Factory has warned that like-for-like sales growth was “softer” during its first quarter after being hit by a slump in footfall.

The gifts and cards specialist did not reveal a like-for-like sales figure for the period, but said it was below levels “recently achieved” as shoppers steered clear of the high street.

Card Factory said the decline in footfall offset a continued growth in average spend across its store estate, but insisted that it continued to target full-year like-for-like sales growth of 1.4% to 3.2% and that full-year expectations remain unchanged.

The retailer said total sales advanced 6.5% during the three months ending April 30, although this was driven largely by new store space and online performance.

Card Factory opened 20 net new stores during the quarter, bringing its store estate to 834 by the end of the period.

The business remains “on track” to launch around 50 net new stores by the end of the financial year.

Card Factory said online sales grew in excess of 10% during the quarter.

The retailer’s boss, Karen Hubbard, who took the reins last month following the departure of Richard Hayes, said: “Following our record performance last year, we have had a reasonable start to the year.

“Whilst not completely immune to the weaker consumer confidence seen in 2016, the market for greetings cards in the UK has proven highly resilient in the past and our unrivalled value offer will continue to appeal to a broad range of customers.”