I may be a ‘glass half full’ kind of person, but it’s not hard to find a shining light amid the gloom – Booths, for example. This week the northern supermarket chain revealed a 5.4% increase in sales and a 73% increase in pre-tax profit for the year to 29 March, with like-for-like sales up 3.8%. And since March, sales remain 4% ahead of the year before.
Booths may be trading in a part of the country that is relatively sheltered from the credit crunch, but it’s a massive achievement for an independent retailer that has shown rivals Marks & Spencer and Waitrose it is possible to sell high-quality groceries as the economy heads south. Yes, it’s dabbled with 50p promotions, but it’s sticking to its roots and flying the flag for provenance and quality.