Latest Intelligence on Stationers and Greetings Cards

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Type Product title / description Pub Price
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UK retail: cold snap brings hopes of Christmas cheer

John Lewis indicated that sales had surged in the past five weeks, providing hope that Christmas trading may be better than last year. The company's sales last week rose by 5.8 % to GBP62 million against a year ago. While the performance must be encouraging for John Lewis, its rivals must still be hopeful that the Christmas spirit cold weather engenders will drive consumers into the shops.

Published By Datamonitor
22 Nov 2005
CommentWire
CommentWire

WH Smith: making savings but not sales

UK high-street retailer WH Smith reported a 6% fall in underlying sales for the seven weeks to January 21 but improved its margins by 250 basis points. The mixed results are a testament to the company's recovery plan, which has focused on achieving a more profitable product mix. Despite this progress, sales growth remains a challenge.

Published By Datamonitor
25 Jan 2006
CommentWire
CommentWire

Clinton Cards: needs to broaden customer appeal

Like-for-like sales at Clinton Cards' eponymous card stores fell 3.3% over the year as the company blamed an increase in competition from the high street and supermarkets. Although the Clinton Cards is still recovering from its acquisition of Birthdays two years ago, the drop in like-for-like sales suggests the retailer needs to look at its positioning and retail format.

Published By Datamonitor
18 Oct 2006
CommentWire
CommentWire

Stationery Box: a cautionary tale

The steady stream of retail casualties in 2007 continues, with Stationery Box the latest operator to call in the administrators. As other specialists expanded their offers and sought to differentiate by offering more exclusive and premium ranges, Stationery Box stubbornly retained its value focus, limited range and absence of a multi-channel presence, leaving itself vulnerable to competition.

Published By Datamonitor
01 Feb 2007
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Expert View

WHSmith's travel sales continue to bolster profits

WHSmith has improved its profitability, with group pre-tax profits up 8% to GBP64 million for the six months ending February 29, 2008. However, although sales at travel stores were up 1% on a like-for-like basis, high street sales fell by 3%, indicating that the fault line between the two businesses is widening. Although growth prospects are better in travel, the high street must not be neglected.

Published By Datamonitor
17 Apr 2008
CommentWire
CommentWire

WHSmith: considering Paperchase purchase

Following Borders's decision to put stationary retailer Paperchase up for sale for around GBP50 million in order to re-focus on its core category, WHSmith has demonstrated an interest. The potential purchase would be the latest of a number of acquisitions by the business as it aims to turn its fortunes around and re-define itself.

Published By Datamonitor
19 May 2008
CommentWire
CommentWire

WHSmith: travel to the rescue once more

In the year to August 31, WHSmith grew travel sales by 22% to GBP413m, while high street sales fell by 2% to GBP939m, revealing that, although travel is performing well, the high street business is struggling. While WHSmith is not as exposed to the consumer downturn as some retailers, the intense level of competition in its core market will impact its performance going forward.

Published By Datamonitor
10 Oct 2008
CommentWire
CommentWire

WH Smith: profits fall, Travel outlets prosper

WH Smith has reported flat group sales for the six months to February 28, 2009, with double digit sales growth in Travel outlets counterbalancing a weak performance from its High Street stores. The retailer is continuing with its withdrawal from entertainment, and is looking to Post Office integration and rebuilding its authority as a specialist to drive sales in the future.

Published By Datamonitor
24 Apr 2009
CommentWire
CommentWire

WH Smith: sales down, profits up

For the year to August 31, 2009, pre-tax profits for WH Smith increased to GBP82m. Like-for-likes are down 5.0%, with total group sales down 1.0%. Efficient cost control and proposition enhancements will help the company survive challenging times, while focusing on core markets and exceptional growth opportunities will provide fillip to future growth.

Published By Datamonitor
15 Oct 2009
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Expert View

Clinton Cards: celebrating the end of a turbulent year

Clinton Cards has come through a difficult year, negotiating a declining market and the administration of part of its business. In the 52 weeks to August 2, 2009, total sales were down by 3.4%, but the group has managed to grow pre-tax profit and reduce net debt. In the short term things are now improving, but longer term, the company faces a fresh set of challenges.

Published By Datamonitor
19 Oct 2009

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