ARTS and crafts retailer Hobbycraft has reported bumper Christmas sales as it continues to fight the consumer trend towards high tech gadgets.

The group, owned by private equity firm Bridgepoint, saw like for like store sales rise 7.1 per cent over the six weeks to December 24, while online revenue rocketed 28 per cent.

Hobbycraft credited the rise to a series of workshops across its near 100 outlets, which saw 21,000 shoppers attend to work on projects such as fillable baubles and personalised advent calendars.

It has shops across Sussex, including Brighton, Worthing and Eastbourne.

Figures showed an 119 per cent increase in sales of “Christmas Eve Boxes” during the week they were demonstrated in stores.

Katherine Paterson, customer director at Hobbycraft, said: “A personalised present means so much more and Christmas is clearly the perfect time of year to create something extra special for loved ones.

“Social media channels and influencers are helping to drive this trend and our results this Christmas show that crafting a thoughtful gift or decoration is a more enriching experience in these challenging times.”

This come despite the soaring popularity of technology and gadget gifts such as computer games, phones and iPads. Hobbycraft booked a six per cent increase in sales.