Plymouth & South West Co-operative said food sales were up 8.69% to £90.8m in the last financial year, setting a 20-year high. Like-for-like sales at its 52 food stores were up 6.55% and profits up 20.8% for the year to January 24.
Chief executive Douglas Fletcher said there had been good customer reaction as it continued to convert its food stores to its ‘Your Local Co-op’ format, phasing out its Plymco brand.
Fifty of its stores have been converted over the last 18 months and the process is set to be completed in the autumn.
Fletcher said: “Having decided to move away from supermarkets and large superstores and into the convenience top-up shopper market, we have refined our complete offering to the customer.”
Range of stock and availability had been greatly improved and operating costs reduced over the year. Profitability was at a level not achieved by the society since the late 1970s, he said.
Plymco invested £4.3m in its retail division last year and plans to plough in a further £3m in this year. It plans to open three new stores by next January.