Heal’s has reported a record year, with gross sales of more than £50m (including concession sales) for the first time in its history.
This represents a YoY increase of +27%, driven by the continued growth of the retailer's online business.
The company’s six stores were closed for prolonged periods due to the pandemic, but the retailer says the effect of this was more than mitigated by the strength of its website and telesales channels. Online sales grew +51% and accounted for 60% of overall revenue.
"There was an uplift in sales from the ‘home boom’ when customers were spending more time in their homes due to the Covid restrictions and, as a result, chose to invest more in home renovations and improvements," states Heal’s, which did not utilise the Government furlough scheme – all employees were paid in full during the pandemic.
Profit before tax was £2.1m, driven by a combination of the strong multichannel sales performance and tight cost control. This compares to a loss of £2m in the previous year.
Trading exceeded expectations during the retailer's recent winter sale, with revenues +4% ahead of a very strong prior year, and included a record sales week for the company. Revenues were balanced between the stores and online, emphasising the importance of Heal’s multichannel approach.
The bestselling products were sofas and easy chairs, with a strong performance also in dining tables and chairs. This marks a shift in customer needs from earlier in the pandemic, says Heal's, when desks and storage were very much the focus.
After this strong start to the current year, challenges persist, including supply chain cost pressures, freight charges and delays. While Heal’s has tried to resist retail price increases, some have proved inevitable, it says. Covid challenges continue, and the conflict in Ukraine has created further uncertainty, yet Heal’s believes it is well placed to navigate these challenges.
CEO Hamish Mansbridge says: “2020/21 was a record year for Heal’s. As well as seeing growth in demand for home interiors, it’s a real testament to the strength of our brand and the quality of our products that customers were buying in increasing numbers through our online channels, both during and after lockdowns. As a result of this, whilst remaining very conscious of economic, geopolitical and social uncertainties, we move forward with continuing confidence in our in-store and digital experiences.”