Booths has blamed a 2% fall in annual like-for-like sales on cash-strapped shoppers downsizing their baskets.

Total sales rose 0.6% in the year to 2 April, according to results filed at Companies House. But like-for-likes have experienced a massive reversal in fortunes since 2009-10, when they were up 2.9%. 

The company said it had been hit by unfavourable comparables as the previous year had included two Easters, adding that the economic downturn had prompted shoppers to reduce basket sizes. 

To tempt shoppers to put more through the tills, Booths has focused on improving its value perception. The supermarket launched an own-label value range called Booths Everyday in October last year and has since grown the original 100 lines to 300. 

"With the continuation of tight spending by customers, it is imperative that Booths offers value at all levels throughout the business," said Booths chairman Edwin Booth.

Despite the fall in like-for-likes, Booths' pre-tax profits climbed 7.2% to £8.2m after the closure of its Lytham St Annes store in August 2010 allowed Booths to sell off buildings and land worth £951,000.

Meanwhile, Booths has pulled the plug on its online wine business, which ceased trading on 6 October. Launched in 2000, it had marketed itself as the UK's largest wine warehouse. "With a business model entirely focused on range and not price, it has been difficult to provide a stimulating offer in recessionary times," said Booth. 

Booths launched an online catering service from its store at MediaCityUK in Manchester this month.