Seasonal trading can be a mixed blessing for a business – clearly it leaves you heavily reliant on just one or two periods but when it goes right, as it has for chocolatier Hotel Chocolat, the impact can be highly impressive.
More and more people seem to be reaching for Hotel Chocolat products when they want a little bit of affordable luxury and occasions like Mother’s Day or Easter have been celebrated with gusto by people looking to break up the monotony of lockdown.
Nonetheless it’s still impressive that the sales in the eight weeks to 25 April were up substantially not just on last year’s heavily disrupted trading but also on pre-Covid levels in 2019.
“It demonstrates that the company has done a good job of adjusting to the realities of the pandemic by shifting more of its sales through its website and third parties when its stores were unable to operate,” said AJ Bell’s Russ Mould.
“The recent exit of rival Thorntons from the high street may also prove helpful to Hotel Chocolat as the easing of restrictions continues, allowing it gobble up market share.
“Hotel Chocolat has done an impressive job of building out its brand in recent years, something reflected in the 157% premium it trades relative to the price at which it made its market debut back in 2016.”