Image copyright Shutterstock A super-soft foam toy has put the squeeze on sales at arts and crafts retailer The Works. The Squishy phenomenon had been a big hit for the 525-shop chain in 2018 – but has now fallen out of favour.The Works said sales fell 3.6% six months to 27 October as kids shunned…

person squishing a squishy

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A pleasing-tender foam toy has build apart the squeeze on gross sales at arts and crafts retailer The Works.

The Squishy phenomenon had been a massive hit for the 525-store chain in 2018 – but has now fallen out of favour.

The Works acknowledged gross sales fell 3.6% six months to 27 October as childhood shunned Squishies and likewise slime. With the exception of those mega traits, gross sales fell 1.9%.

Nonetheless, the firm slice back its pre-tax losses for the half-year to £8.5m, from £9.1m previously.

Christmas shopping and selling became also higher, with love-for-love gross sales rising 1.5% in the 11 weeks to 12 January. That helped to prefer The Works’ fragment mark by more than 8% in early shopping and selling on Thursday.

The corporate also announced that chief executive Kevin Keaney became stepping down after nine years, with finance chief Gavin Peck taking on.

Squishies potentially must not guilty for his departure, though. The good buy retailer has been in financial worry for a whereas, and Mr Keaney’s resolution to recede comes two months after the firm issued its 2d profit warning.

The Works acknowledged it became inserting modern retailer openings on preserve as allotment of “action to refocus our formula” and “style out mark financial savings”. There has also been a slower start as a lot as post-Christmas shopping and selling, ensuing in elevated discounting, the company acknowledged.

Mr Peck acknowledged in a assertion: “We stay confident in the possibilities for the company with the industrial shopping and selling-in keeping with the board’s full-year expectations.”

Analysts at Investec acknowledged the Christmas performance would “recede some formula to restoring investor self belief” in the company.

“We imagine… there would possibly be a particular section on the Excessive Avenue for a household pleasant layout love The Works,” the analysts acknowledged in a be taught repeat.

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