The Works is the UK’s leading discount book retailer, but also sells a wide range of toys, gifts, stationery and art & craft supplies – all at discount prices. 

Investment in full multichannel development has been ramped up over the past few years, with the focus on delivering the complete integration of its ecommerce systems and store network. In mid 2020, the retailer launched a new website.

Current priorities include the ongoing integration of its systems, overhauling its merchandising and buying systems and making the most of the data it gets from its Together reward card scheme which was relaunched during the 2022 financial year. 

From early 2020 the retailer has scaled back an ambitious store opening programme in a bid to cut costs and boost profits. Operating some 525 stores, The Works maintains extensive coverage, which benefits its click-and-collect offer, but has refocused its strategy to focus on boosting the performance of its existing stores.

Amid challenging trading conditions and with the retailer still recovering from a cyber security incident, sales grew 5.8% to £280.1m in the year to 30 April 2023 (FY2022). This followed a  46.5% surge in sales the previous year when The Works’ performance had been boosted by the reopening of stores following a lengthy period of Covid lockdowns.

Statutory pre-tax profit declined by almost two thirds to £5.0m in FY2022 after impairment charges of £5.1m, from £14.2m the previous year. During the year, business rate costs increased by £5.8m as Covid-19 reliefs came to an end. 

The Works floated on the London Stock Exchange in July 2018, raising £62.5m to clear debt and fund ongoing expansion. 

Innovation rating: 2.5



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