Hobbycraft bucks retail gloom as online growth drives sales surge

Hobbycraft has sewn up a rise in sales and earnings for the year, as the arts and craft retailer bucked the downward trend among British retailers.

The company, which is owned by private equity giant Bridgepoint and has 94 UK shops, said surging online growth helped to bolster its sales.

Total revenue for the year to February 2019 jumped by 5.4% to £177.7 million as it boosted by online sales growth of 22.7%.

Hobbycraft said it expects the UK retail environment to “remain challenging” but said it felt “well placed” to deliver its growth plans.

It said that sales for the first quarter of the current were stronger than the same period last year.

Dominic Jordan, chief executive of Hobbycraft, said: “We are pleased with our performance and how our offer has improved over the past year.

“We continue to pursue our plans for multi-channel growth as we target our strategy to improve the broader appeal of our brand.

“This is being achieved through leveraging our broad product range which meets the needs of core hobbyists, families and everyday makers, with continued focus on delivering value to our customers.”

Over the year the company opened five new stores as it focused on launching new smaller stores in a bid to improve its profitability.

Hobbycraft’s growth strategy has also been driven by increased online sales as well as Click & Collect sales growth.

Hobbycraft sales jumped by 5.4% on the back of rising online sales. (Paul Michael Hughes/PA)
Hobbycraft sales jumped by 5.4% on the back of rising online sales. (Paul Michael Hughes/PA)

It hailed “strong” earnings growth over the year, as it posted a 27.8% rise in adjusted earnings before interest and tax of £12.2 million.

It also said the popularity of tidying guru Marie Kondo helped to spark soaring sales of its storage trolleys, which saw a 207% sales uplift.

Mr Jordan added: “Our focus remains on great customer service and colleague engagement as we seek to provide help and inspiration to customers in their local communities.

“Our in-store workshop programme plays a key role where our colleagues demonstrate their incredible knowledge and passion for crafting whilst helping customers with their projects.”