At Central England Co-operative, Christmas is an all-year-round operation.
In the run-up to the festive season, staff members have been working around the clock at three sites in Leicester to make sure shelves across the society’s stores are stocked with Christmas products.
The co-op’s research revealed that last year, 14,639,462 cases of food were delivered to stores last year by 60 lorries, which cover 2.7 million miles a year.
Nearly 200,000 tubs of confectionery were received for stores at the society’s 120,000 sq ft Food Distribution Centre, which were then picked, packed and transported out to 240 Central England stores across 16 counties, as well as supplies for 54 stores for two other co-ops.
The society also runs a 42,000 sq ft Chilled Distribution Centre in Leicester, where colleagues are now getting ready for the peak trading for chilled foods.
According to the co-op’s insight data from 2017, a total of 16,036,673 cases of chilled food including ham joints, Christmas desserts and salads were distributed last year, along with 2,400 turkeys.
Robin Farrell, head of distribution and logistics, said: “The unwavering efforts of colleagues at our distribution centres ensure Central England Co-operative customers can enjoy a special time at Christmas.
“Planning for Christmas begins in January each year for all those involved with the distribution operation as items need to be produced in time for December.
“Christmas may come once a year, but it really is an all-year-round operation for our colleagues.”
Christmas puts pressure of retailers and supply chain managers to ensure products are available. Recent research by the British Retail Consortium revealed that 21% of retailers plan to reduce staff in the coming quarter, despite it being the busiest of the year.