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.
From early 2020 the retailer is scaling back its 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.
Group sales fell 19.7% to £180.7m in the financial year to 2 May 2021 (FY2020), as a result of temporary store closures because of the pandemic. However, online sales spiked 120.9% and the retailer swung back into the black at operating level.
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