HOBBYCRAFT said it has emerged from the coronavirus lockdown in a “strong position” after online sales tripled amid the pandemic.

The Christchurch-based arts and crafts retailer, which has 100 stores across the UK, said like-for-like online sales increased by more than 200 per cent during the 12-week lockdown period.

It said all its outlets were shut until non-essential shops were allowed to welcome back customers on June 15, “significantly impacting” total sales.

Hobbycraft stressed that demand for arts and crafts “remains strong”, with high customer demand in stores since they reopened.

The company said in a statement: “The business has emerged from the March-June lockdown in a strong position and is now well placed to withstand the longer-term impacts of the pandemic and drive further growth.”

The update came as the company announced its full-year results for the year to February 16.

Revenues surged 8.9 per cent to £193.6million, boosted by a 19 per cent jump in online sales during the year.

Hobbycraft opened five new outlets during the year as it continued to expand by opening new smaller format stores across the country.

Chief executive Dominic Jordan said it had been “pleased” with its performance over the past year.

He said: “We continue to execute our strategy with improvements in product ranges supporting multi-channel growth.

“Our broad range of products continues to evolve with more specialist materials and newness, ensuring that we satisfy the needs of craft enthusiasts and stay ahead of the competition.

“Our resolute focus on the strategy will see us bring further product innovation and inspiration, a new approach to online demonstrations and workshops, new stores and further investment in our e-commerce platform to support future growth.”