Hotel Chocolat today unveiled rising sales and profits after a year in which multichannel investment included optimising its mobile customer experience.
The chocolate maker and retailer, a Top100 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, reported revenue of £105.2m in the year to July 2, 12% up on the previous year. Pre-tax profits doubled to £11.2m.
Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and chief executive officer of Hotel Chocolat , said: “I am pleased to report another year of growth and good results. The Hotel Chocolat brand has continued to strengthen and we have made excellent progress with our three strategic priorities of investing further in our British chocolate manufacturing operations, growing our store estate and developing our digital offering.
“All our channels are growing. In retail, the new Shop+cafe format is proving popular, our new website has improved conversion on mobile devices and since the year-end, we have signed six new wholesale accounts that will make it easier for consumers to buy Hotel Chocolat products.
“Given the encouraging performance of our retail and internet channels, along with the pipeline of opportunities ahead of us, we are confident of further growth. This of course depends on the availability of suitable sites. We have further improved our Christmas ranges and this year will be our biggest ever seasonal offering.”
Hotel Chocolat sells through 94 UK and international stores and online via hotelchocolat.com and reported strong sales growth across retail, digital and corporate channels. Here are the multichannel highlights.
The retailer has a growth strategy, opening both chocolate-only shops as well as a shop with a cafe format. It has a store in Copenhagen and is also expanding to Hong Kong.
Digital sales grew by 8% over the year: that reflected 18% growth in online sales and a 5% fall in subscriptions.
Hotel Chocolat launched a new mobile-optimised website that has helped to grow sales via mobile devices, with conversion up by 30%. Mobile now accounts for more than half of all traffic to the website. The retailer is developing an app to make it easier to choose and send a gift and to boost purchase frequency through a digital rewards scheme.
The retailer is working to boost access to the its products, developing wholesale relationships with new customers including Amazon, Ocado and Fenwicks department store.