Card Factory online sales up 267% as it cancels divi

Wakefield-based greeting card and gift retailer Card Factory said on Wednesday its web site has delivered sales growth of 267.5% since the coronavirus lockdown started.

About 90% of the company’s staff have been furloughed and Card Factory said it will not pay a final dividend “in respect of FY20 to protect the business and its balance sheet at this uncertain time.”

In a stock exchange Covid 19 update, Card Factory said: “With appropriate safety measures and controls in place, we have continued to trade both of our online businesses. 

“While remaining a small part of the group, we have seen significant growth in visitors, conversion and sales. 

“The web site has delivered sales growth of 267.5% since the lock-down with at 57.5%. 

“In response to this increased demand, and to support social distancing, we have established a second fulfilment unit in Wakefield.

“Alongside the online activity, we have continued to supply both Aldi and our Australian partner, The Reject Shop, with card ranges.  

“With our stores remaining closed, as per government guidance, all of our store colleagues have been furloughed under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

“Where required, our Support Centre colleagues are working effectively from home.  

“In preparation for re-opening, we are currently working on changes to our store operations that will help ensure colleague and customer safety. 

“We expect to be able to facilitate appropriate social distancing in the majority of our stores.”

On its financial situation, Card Factory said: “The business has in place an existing £200m Revolving Credit Facility (RCF), maturing in October 2023, with our commercial banks, who have remained supportive of the business during this period. 

“In addition, we have now received confirmation from the Bank of England that we have access to additional funding under the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF).”