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 is being relaunched this 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.

Boosted by the reopening of stores following a lengthy period of Covid lockdowns, sales surged 46.5% to £264.6m in the year to 1 May 2022 (FY2021), more than recouping the previous year’s 19.7% decline. Profit performance also improved significantly on back of the stellar sales growth, with statutory pre-tax profit coming in at £10.2m, against a loss of £2.8m in FY2020.

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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