In line with much of the UK grocery retail sector major regional co-operative Central England has reported a buoyant Christmas trading performance, announcing sales growth of +9.2% for the three weeks from the middle of December to 2 January.
New Year’s Eve saw the highest growth
With 260 stores across 16 counties of midland and eastern England, Central England Co-op reported especially strong performance in its many community-based convenience stores. Reflecting this skew, the peak of its festive uplift actually came on New Year’s Eve, when sales were up 11%, rather than in the Christmas build-up itself, when shoppers tend to favour big stores. In contrast to 31 December, sales on Christmas Eve were a more modest +4.7%.
Premium lines boosted as shoppers traded-up
In a year when many could not mark the festive season in the way they would have chosen, shoppers we focused on treating themselves to make up for it. Sales of the Co-op Irresistible premium private range in particular benefitted, with sales up 7.6%. Meanwhile other notably popular products included pink prosecco, as well as the retailer’s turkey meal deal, providing a convenient solution for smaller scale celebrations.
Debbie Robinson, Chief Executive, Central England Co-operative, said:
‘Our focus this festive season was to provide our members, customers and communities with access to food, essentials and vital services in a safe and secure environment. The Society’s strong performance during this time reflects the incredible efforts of all our teams across our Food businesses and our support teams. Thank you to all of our colleagues for their outstanding contribution to the Society throughout the whole of 2020, and to our members and customers for their continued support and loyalty.’
For more insight on UK retailer festive performances
See our seasonal trading round-up deck here.