Premier sales rose 12% vs -0.5% to all retailers

Premier, the symbol fascia owned by Booker, has overtaken The Co-operative Group to become the UK’s second-biggest multi-format retailer.

Premier grew its estate by 5.3% to 2,950 stores last year, according to The Grocery Retail Structure 2014, compiled by The Grocer’s publisher William Reed Business Media and IGD.

In contrast, The Co-op saw its store portfolio decrease by 1.4% to 2,775 stores as it continued to sell off its larger supermarkets to concentrate on its core convenience estate. In total, 21 stores were sold last year, with two c-stores added.

Tesco remains the UK’s biggest retailer by store number. Its estate grew by 7.8% last year to 3,131 stores, boosted by its opening of 217 new c-stores in 2013. The total grocery market grew 1.2% to 91,951 stores.

Booker said this week that sales to Premier retailers rose 12% in the year to 28 March - its 11th consecutive year of double-digit growth. It also said there was a “huge amount” of interest for Premier in Northern Ireland and it expected to open stores there.