Easter and Mother's Day rush sees sales jump for Hotel Chocolat

The rush for Mother's Day and Easter presents led to a boom in sales for Hotel Chocolat, new figures show.

Angus Thirlwell
Angus Thirlwell

The British chocolatier has reported a 60 per cent jump in sales in the eight weeks to April 25.

The period, which includes Mother’s Day and Easter, is the second-largest seasonal peak for the business.

Despite physical retail locations in England being closed for six weeks during the period, revenue was up on last year during which physical retail locations were closed for five weeks.

The group’s revenue for the eight weeks is also 19 per cent higher than the comparative period in 2019.

Hotel Chocolat, which has shops at the Merry Hill shopping centre in Brierley Hill and at Shrewsbury, said growth was driven largely by its digital channels and subscription products.

Since the re-opening of physical retail locations in England on April 12, sales across all the Company’s channels have been encouraging.

Its board now expects trading for the full year to June 27 to be significantly ahead of expectations.

It has committed to repay the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme funding received from the UK Government this financial year. The £3.1 million cost of the furlough repayment will be accrued in the 2021 results.

Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and chief executive, said: “In the past year, we have added over one million customers to our database, an increase of 47 per cent. Our strong Easter is entirely thanks to them.

“It feels great to have our physical locations back open again and we have a strong pipeline of exciting new products to launch over the summer, including our Rabot Estate Coffee brand, Strawberries & Cream iced chocolate drinks for our Velvetiser system, and Neapolitan chocolate macarons for al-fresco dining.

“I’m pleased we are able to look forward to further growth and significant investment this year with strong job creation, particularly in our UK chocolate making and supply teams as we turn on extra capacity for our creamy tasting vegan Nutmilk chocolate, our globally popular chocolate macarons, and our Velvetiser flakes for drinking chocolate.

“I would like to commend our team on the commitment, dynamism and creativity they have all shown during the pandemic. They have not only adapted the business to the challenges we faced but have strengthened the brand and accelerated our business model and future growth prospects.”

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