Bookseller Foyles has reported a flat Christmas period as a weak performance at its flagship Charing Cross Road shop was offset by strong trading at Westfield Stratford and its online store.
Foyles said that while it had notched up an “exceptionally strong” sales performance between Christmas and New Year, with revenue “well ahead of last year”, the overall festive performance was dragged down by weaker trading between December 1 and 24, when sales fell 2%.
However, Foyles said Friday, December 21 was the busiest day of the Christmas period.
Foyles chief executive Sam Husain described the overall Christmas performance as “satisfactory”.
Foyles said the “continuing disruption caused by the transport development at Tottenham Court Road underground station continues to disrupt sales and footfall at the flagship Charing Cross Road branch”.
Sales of ebooks increased in the period. At the end of August, Foyles began selling the Nook range of ereaders and tablets both in-store and online.
Husain said: “We are happy with our Christmas trading, given the challenging climate and the difficulties surrounding the Tottenham Court Road underground station development.
“We expect 2013 to be equally challenging but are convinced there will be continuing demand for bookshops whose engaged, knowledgeable booksellers are eager to share their passion for books with readers.
“With the publishing schedules of 2013 already full of titles we’re excited about, we’re confident we’ll continue to tap into customers’ ongoing appetite for reading, in particular as the on and offline worlds consistently provide new and interesting platforms for promotion.”
Foyles reported last month that pre-tax profits fell 25.5% to £152,552 in the year to June 30. Sales edged up almost 3% to £23.5m.