Steve Browne, General Manager

Christmas Eve Most Successful Trading Day in Society’s History

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Heart of England Co-operative Society’s Food Division smashed through its own sales records at Christmas, celebrating Christmas Eve as the most successful trading day in its history.


The record-breaking day came amid a successful period overall, as sales bucked the trend with an increase of 6.86 per cent in the three weeks to January 4th, and like-for-like sales over the same period increasing by 5.18 per cent.


Among the best performing stores during Christmas week were the newly renovated Southam, whose sales were up by a staggering 32.7 per cent, Wellesbourne, which increased by 32.3 per cent, New Bilton and Galley Common, which both recorded increases of 25 per cent, Attleborough, with a 22 per cent rise and Balsall Common, whose sales rose by 20 per cent.


Best sellers included Co-op Irresistable Prosecco, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Taylor’s Select Reserve Port, roast beef joints, Celebrations chocolates, Co-op mince pies and festive flower bouquets.


The news comes as the UK’s four biggest supermarket chains recorded poor trading performances, with each reporting the slowest growth in four years.


Steve Browne, General Manager of the Society’s Food Division, said: “We have made a concerted effort in recent years to invest in our stores, not just visually but also in terms of the quality of our offering, our systems and staff training.


“We have also focused our efforts on improving individual offerings such as fresh and chilled foods and off licence, and introduced new features such as our Local @ Heart campaign in which our members and customers are buying their goods from local suppliers, and a comprehensive product offering such as Christmas meals, party and snacking ranges.”


Steve added: “Weak consumer confidence resulting in shoppers reining in their spending may well also be a factor in our success, with people preferring to watch their pennies, spending little and often close to home rather than overspending in supermarkets and throwing unused goods away.


“We are delighted with the sales performance overall – particularly with the increase at New Bilton, which underwent a £750,000 last year, Attleborough, which was the subject of a £600,000 upgrade, and Southam, where we spent £507,000 on upgrading the store.” 


The Society begins the new year with two new stores – a £1.8 million facility in Burbage, Hinckley, Leicestershire, which is part of a wider £4.5 million investment for a new retail park complete with seven units, and a £2.1 million facility in Hockley Heath, Solihull – the largest single investment in a food store in the Society’s history.

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