The festive period saw Lincolnshire Co-op increase sales with customers taking advantage of the extra dividend. In the three-week period from 17 December to 6 January the society witnessed like-for-like sales in its food stores increase by 7%.
In December, Lincolnshire Co-op paid out a dividend bonus of £1.9m to its 280,000 members, in addition to the £2.2m collected during the year. In that month, members used £1.3m of dividend to pay for their shopping in food stores.
Among the most popular products were mince pies. Lincolnshire Co-op’s own local bakery Gadsby’s saw its festive range sales increase by almost 8% with a record-breaking 240,000 individual mince pies sold. The Love Local range also performed well. Products in this range are now on shelves and in chillers alongside other goods of their type, making it even easier for shoppers to choose local. Sales of the Love Local range, products sourced from the area, shot up by over 80%.
Special seasonal products on offer included Hawken’s Gingerbread, made in Grantham, gift packs from F.A.B (Ferry Ales Brewery) based in Fiskerton, chipolatas and sausage meat from Boston Sausage and a Love Local gin. Overall, gin sales increased by 70%.
Chief retail officer Mark Finn said: “All our team work hard to provide a valued service to our customers, especially at Christmas time. We’re delighted that together, our quality, value, range of products and good service has led to a strong sales growth.
“Our Love Local range supports producers across our area, helping to grow the local economy. We’re especially pleased to see so many shoppers giving these fantastic products a try this festive season.
“We paid out our dividend bonus on 1 December and lots of our members decided to use dividend to treat themselves during the month. We also raised more than £70,000 during December for our Community Champions, local charities working to deliver social inclusion for the over 50s.”