Britain gorging on wine and chocolate during lockdown, according to Hotel Chocolat and Naked Wines
Britain has been gorging on wine and chocolate during lockdown, according to Hotel Chocolat and Naked Wines.
Revenues at Hotel Chocolat rose 3 per cent in the year to June 28, to £136m even though its stores shut.
And sales at Naked Wines, which will be relieved that it recently switched to become online-only, shot up 77 per cent in the three months to June. Naked said it was set to be a ‘long-term winner’ from online as a result of the pandemic.
Gorging: Chocolate and wine have been favourites during lockdown, according to Hotel Chocolate and Naked Wines
Hotel Chocolat said its store closures and eight-week suspension of activities at its Cambridgeshire factory bumped up costs – but it too benefited from an online boom.
Sales through the website surged 200 per cent over the last three months, helped out by a 47 per cent increase in the sales of subscription products and recurring purchases, such as hot chocolate refills.
Hotel Chocolat has now reopened 119 of its 125 locations, and has no plans to close any stores. Chief executive Angus Thirlwell added that it would create 200 new jobs this year, mostly in its factory and distribution centre.
He suggested that the chain would take a light touch approach to enforcing mask-wearing in its shops. ‘We do not want to come across like chocolate traffic wardens,’ he said.
Naked chairman John Walden is stepping down to be replaced in the interim by non-executive director Ian Harding. Hotel Chocolat shares leapt 8.9 per cent, or 25p, to 305p. Naked’s rose 0.3p, or 1p, to 406p.