ARTS and crafts chain Hobbycraft has reported a rise in sales after a growing number of customers looked to personalise their Christmas decorations.

The Christchurch-based business saw total sales leap 8.9 per cent over the five weeks to December 24, with like-for-like sales up 5.3 per cent.

While sales rose by three per cent in stores, they surged 19.5 per cent online.

Dominic Jordan, chief executive officer of Hobbycraft, said: “This is a good performance.

“This Christmas we’ve seen so many customers looking not only to personalise their gifts, but also to consider presentation and recyclability of materials.

“We’ve seen some fantastic examples of gift wrapping and tags which can be both beautiful and better for the environment,” he added.

The retailer said the 2019 festive period saw a notable increase in customers looking to customise their Christmas decorations, from DIY crackers to handmade wreaths.

Hobbycraft said it saw customers flock to workshops and demonstrations across its 99 UK stores in the 12 weeks prior to Christmas.

It said the workshops were attended by 23,000 adults and children who also made their own personalised baubles.

It credited the demonstrations with helping to drive surges in product sales, with DIY Christmas cracker sales jumping 41 per cent.

Online, more than 200,000 customers used its Ideas Hub for Christmas inspiration.

Meanwhile, sales of sustainable products also surged as shoppers made more eco-friendly purchasing choices.

Hobbycraft said recyclable gift tag sales increased 21 per cent as customers also purchased more recyclable wrapping paper and crackers.

Hobbycraft, which was originally part of the Haskins group, was bought by private equity firm Bridgepoint in 2010.

Headquartered at Bournemouth Airport’s Aviation Park in Christchurch, Hobbycraft has a store at Longham and more than 90 branches throughout the country.