Sales of fresh produce have soared by up to 70% in some United Co-op convenience stores ­ thanks to a new daily delivery service. Paul Griffiths, who heads up the society's food business, said 15 stores in the Potteries had been involved in trials of the new service. Managers order fruit and vegetables from the supplier by 11am for delivery the next morning and are able to make a call for top-up deliveries if required. At the moment United's c-stores typically get deliveries of fresh produce three days a week. Stores involved in the trial are equipped with "frambient" display units, new graphics and vibrant PoS, and charge "fairly attractive prices but nothing silly". Griffiths said the average sales uplift was 40% across the stores involved in the trials, although some had done even better than that. "We have much less wastage than we thought and a better contribution to the store." He said the society was 12 weeks into a four month trial that was going extremely well. "We are working on how we can develop this, not only for fruit and vegetables but extend it into chilled as well." Griffiths said his team was working with sister company Norpak on the idea of daily deliveries of chilled food. "If we got half the success we have had from fruit and vegetables on chilled you are talking a significant amount of money," said Griffiths. Such a service would complement the daily deliveries of savoury snacks and sandwiches being made by Kerry Foods into United's stores. A strong fresh and chilled food offer is at the heart of the society's Going for Blue conversion programme. Work on that initiative continues with 200 of its 300 c-stores due for conversion by the end of the year. - United Co-op is selling three of its larger stores. The stores in Droylsden, Hindley and Newton-le-Willows are being sold as part of the society's strategy to sell underperforming assets and reinvest in its core convenience business. {{NEWS }}