Sales at The Works edged up despite an “increasingly challenging consumer environment” and the aftermath of a cybersecurity attack that forced it to close five stores earlier this year. 

Gavin Peck

Gavin Peck said ‘The Works has proven itself to be a resilient business’

Total sales increased 2.1% in the 26 weeks to October 30, with like-for-likes up 0.6%. Store trading increased 3.5% on a like-for-like basis but online sales dropped by 16.9%. 

The Works said its sales across both channels were adversely affected by operational issues in the aftermath of a cyber attack that forced it to temporarily close five locations, delayed its stock resupplies and disrupted customers’ online orders.

The high street retailer said from June onwards, it saw positive like-for-like performance across stores but weaker online sales as post-pandemic shopping trends normalised. 

Despite weakened online sales, the retailer said it was “encouraged” by a slowing rate of decline and believed there was a “significant opportunity for growth” in its ecommerce business in the medium term.

Due to its focus on value and well-placed operational position ahead of Christmas, The Works said its expectations for financial year 2023 are unchanged. 

Chief executive Gavin Peck said: “We have delivered a resilient performance in the first half with positive sales growth overall, demonstrating continued progress against our ’better, not just bigger’ strategy. Our more customer-focused product proposition has continued to resonate, supported by the hard work and fantastic customer service delivered by our colleagues, helping to offset the challenging trading conditions being seen across the market.

“Although it is very difficult to predict what Christmas will look like this year, we believe that the great products and fantastic value we offer will be more important than ever, with families still looking to celebrate Christmas but in a more affordable way. The Works has proven itself to be a resilient business and we remain confident in our ability to make progress on our strategy and deliver growth in the medium term, supported by a robust balance sheet.”

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