Past Times, the gifts retailer, tumbled back into the red last year after it was hit by tough trading conditions on the high street.
But the chain, which has 141 stores, vowed to open about 60 "pop-up" shops before Christmas to boost its trading, a substantial increase on the number of temporary stores it introduced in 2010. People familiar with the matter also said that Past Times had grown its gross margin this year.
However, for the year to 25 December 2010, Past Times sunk to a loss of £1.53m, on sales of £46.51m.
Following a change to its year-end, this compared with a £507,308 profit between 3 May 2009 and 26 December 2009. Past Times is owned by Epic Private Equity, which also owns the Whittard of Chelsea chain.