Strong growth in chilled, bakery and alcohol helped boost like-for-like sales growth at United Co-operatives’ food division to 3.9% over the festive season.
Strip out larger stores, and like-for-like sales at convenience stores in the five weeks to January 2 were up 6.3% - well ahead of the market and only just behind Tesco, said food group general manager Tim Hurrell.
“These figures are extremely encouraging and show the excellent progress made over the past 12 months.” Total sales were up 9% over the period, boosted by the recent acquisitions of Leathleys Quality Fare and Neighbours Food and Drink Stores.
Customer numbers were up by 2.1% and average spend by 1.6%.
Although the focus was on convenience stores, recent investment in superstores at Wythenshawe and Irlams o’ th’ Height paid off.
These stores generated Christmas period sales increases of 7.0% and 16.2% respectively, Hurrell added.