Revenues up for Conviviality

12 May, 2015

Bargain Booze and Wine Rack owner Conviviality Retail has seen takings grow in the past year, it has announced in a trading statement.

The company expects to report revenues of £364 million in the year to April 26, up from £356 million in 2013-2014, when it officially announces its results in July. 

The growth comes in spite of store openings coming later than planned in the year, and retail sales for Bargain Booze stores slipping 1.7%.

But the company said underlying sales per store crept up 0.5%, showing an improvement in the quality of the portfolio. 

Wine Rack showed modest growth of just 0.1%.

Chief executive Diana Hunter said: “2014-15 has been a year of solid progress for Conviviality and we are pleased with everything that has been achieved. The significant changes we have implemented over the past two years ensure we are well positioned to drive growth into the business and the board looks to the future with confidence. I would like to recognise the excellent collaboration of all of our employees, our franchisees and suppliers in helping drive this solid performance.”

The past financial year saw Conviviality take on GT News for £6 million, bringing 37 stores into the business – 36 of which were then franchised to super-franchisee Jonathan James.

The company has been focusing on boosting profits for its franchisees, and said they can now earn £14,000 per store more than they could two years ago, thanks to improvements in retail margins and the group’s franchisee share scheme, which awards up to 3,500 shares per store to those who achieve annual standards targets. 

It has also invested in modernising shop fascias, updating its brands and promoting itself through social media and digital marketing. A new customer loyalty app launched last December has already had 19,500 downloads and 23,000 redemptions, and the group is piloting a click and collect service.

Conviviality recently appointed Carol Savage, formerly of Exodus and Sara Lee, as its chief customer officer, and has also made former Homebase retail director Ian Jones a non-executive director.

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