Heart of England reports Christmas sales increase of 5.95%

The society said its store improvement programme was a major factor in its success

The Heart of England Co-op has reported a like-for-like sales increase of 5.95% over the Christmas period.

The society says this is measured against a strong performance over the same three-week period in 2017, when a prolonged cold snap drove customers to shop little and often at their local co-operative.

Every one of the society’s 32 food stores reported increases on last year. Among the strongest performing stores during Christmas week were Alfall Road in Wyken, which saw sales go up by 35% on last year during Christmas week, Ryton, whose sales rose by 27%, and Galley Common and Long Itchington, both of which recorded sales increases of 25%.

Steve Browne, general manager of the Heart of England’s food division, said: “We are pleased with our Christmas sales performance from all of our stores.

“We were up against a strong performance last year as the snow and prolonged bout of cold weather drove people to shop close to home in our stores, and the fall in sales recorded by other retailers this Christmas demonstrates just how tough the market is in general.”

Mr Browne said the society’s ongoing investment programme was a major contributor to its success.

Of the strongest performing stores Long Lawford, which recorded sales increases of 20% during Christmas week, opened its doors following a £1.3m investment in the past 18 months and Alfall Road opened its doors less than three years ago following the £1.8m revamp of a former pub, The Grange.