The Co-operative Group has reported encouraging Christmas and New year trading in its food business for the three weeks ending 5th January, with performance driven by a strong like-for-like growth from its convenience estate.
Targeted promotions and new brand advertising drive sales
Over the three week period, The Co-operative food saw total sales rise 2.4% and by 2.2% on a LFL basis. Key to this growth was a 5.5% uplift in sales through convenience stores, driven by more targeted promotions and new brand advertising using the strapline “Here for you for life”. For the fourth quarter as a whole sales were up 0.6% on the previous year (0.3% LFL).
Christmas sales help sustain positive sales momentum
Commenting on The Co-operative’s results, outgoing Chief Executive Peter Marks said "These results represent a really encouraging and resilient performance in some of the most testing trading conditions for 40 years and build on a good result achieved over the same period last year. The figures also helped to sustain the positive sales momentum we have seen in the second half of this year and whilst conditions remain very challenging we now enter 2013 in a position where we expect to make continued progress"
Strengthening its position in convenience
Going into 2013, building its position in convenience further will be at the heart of The Co-operative’s strategy. In 2012 the retailer opened 82 new stores, its highest number since its acquisition of Somerfield in 2009, with the purchase of David Sands and a number of Costcutter stores in London extending its reach. The Co-operative is also working hard to communicate its points of difference, particularly around food quality and community connections, and enhancing the customer experience in-store.
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