Furniture retailer Made and Hotel Chocolat see slump in sales as Aldi and Lidl soar

It said that it instead of its 2022 sales being down 15 per cent, it believes they could fall by 30 per cent.

It came as German discount supermarket chains Aldi and Lidl have seen double digit sales growth due to the inflationary squeeze on household finances.

Losses on Made earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortisation and writeoffs are now forecast to be as high as £70million, versus the £35million it had previously predicted.

Made said that falling consumer confidence and the corresponding drop in demand for new furniture had made acquiring customers profitably “challenging.”

It will take a £20million hit due to having to hold clearance sales to shift the excess inventory it had built up, as well as the additional costs it faces from supply chain problems at ports and more expensive warehouse charges.

Made chief executive Nicola Thompson said that the company is looking to cut costs, with areas like headcount, warehousing and sourcing being scrutinised.

She added: “It’s clear that things are tough for consumers at the moment. Understandably, we’ve seen a worsening in consumer confidence since May, and this has had an impact on this period’s performance.

“As such it’s prudent for us to take a conservative view of what we can expect in the second half of this year.”

Made floated just over a year ago at 200p per share, valuing it at £775million. It is now valued at just £150.9million and shares fell to 21p yesterday.

Meanwhile, data from market research group Kantar said Lidl’s sales grew by 13.9 per cent, while Aldi had improved by 11.3 per cent.

Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt said more than two-thirds of Britons had shopped at one of the budget stores in the past three months. He said this equated to “1.4 million additional households visiting at least one of the discounters in the latest three months compared with last year.”

Hotel Chocolat expects to go into the red

Hotel Chocolat will fall back into the red after the decision to close its US stores, said co-founder and chief executive Angus Thirlwell.

It made a pre-tax loss of £7.5million during the first year of the pandemic, before returning a £7.8million profit last year. For the 52 weeks until June 26, it expects to report a loss due to USrelated write-offs.

Mr Thirlwell said the firm is scaling back its American operation – which will continue only as an online business – and its Japanese joint venture to focus on its UK trade.

He added: “Our UK market can be a lot bigger for us than we thought a year ago.”

Full-year sales are set to be up 37 per cent to £226million.