Midcounties Co-op recorded a 7.7% like-for-like growth in sales over the festive period, boosted by a record number of locally sourced Christmas products.
The society increased its festive range by 34%, including Godsell’s Cheese from Gloucestershire, and Cotswolds-based vineyard Poulton Hill, driving its English sparkling wine sales by 175% year on year.
Overall, the sales of its enhanced seasonal range rose by 60% on a like-for-like basis.
“In this most challenging of years, our excellent seasonal performance is a credit to the hard work of our colleagues and suppliers who worked so hard to provide our customers with the very best products and service during December,” said the retailer’s chief retail officer Rupert Newman.
“The performance of our locally sourced ranges was a particular highlight in December and underlines our customers’ desire to shop local, particularly in light of the difficulties many local suppliers have faced throughout the pandemic.”
In response to coronavirus, the society increased its partnerships with local suppliers to more than 200 local businesses in 2020, many of which had been impacted by the outbreak.
Midcounties Co-op said these partnerships help ensure the long-term sustainability of the businesses, and give customers the option to support their local community.
Consequently, the retailer’s total sales of locally sourced products exceeded £15m in 2020, compared to around £10m in 2019.
“Our customers understand by buying locally and ethically-sourced food and drink products they can reduce food miles, know exactly where their food comes from and how it has been produced, and support their local communities,” continued Newman.
The society also continued to help the most vulnerable in the areas where it operates, by making more than 4,200 deliveries to customers during the Christmas period, approaching 100,000 deliveries in total.
It also sold more than 1,000 food bank bags in the run-up to Christmas, where customers could purchase pre-packed bags of vital essentials for those most at need.