New Hobbycraft sites will be in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire; Southend in Essex; and Bromborough on Merseyside and will create 40 new retail jobs.

The chain said its adjusted pre-tax profit for the year to February 2022 was £15m, up from £13.8 million the previous year. The company expressed that it was “incredibly well placed”, but the 2023 financial year would be “challenging”.

Dominic Jordan, Hobbycraft’s chief executive, said “multiple new initiatives” were planned including a new website, workshop channel, further new stores and a subscription model.

“However, we are conscious that the year ahead will be very challenging, particularly given the significant inflationary pressures on our customers and we are starting to see this impact on market demand in the early part of full-year 2023,” he said. He then added that there had been a significant increase in freight costs.

The firm, founded in 1995 and now with over 100 stores across the UK, revealed total revenue rose 14.8% from £176.9m in 2021 to £203.1m in 2022.

The company had to close for seven weeks in 2021 during Covid restrictions as it was not classed as an essential retailer.

It saw e-commerce sales grow 58.2% from the point stores reopened in April 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2020.

Seven new stores and 100 new jobs were created in the year to February 2022, including openings in Leicester, Rochester in Kent, and Boucher Crescent in Northern Ireland.

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