Mutual grocery business The Co-operative Food saw like-for-like (LFL) sales rise by 2.2 per cent year-on-year over the Christmas and New Year period, the business reported today.
Total sales were up 2.4 per cent for the three weeks to January 5th 2013, improving on the general good performance from The Co-operative Food in the second half of 2012.
In the final quarter of last year, total food sales grew by 0.6 per cent year-on-year and LFLs were up 0.3 per cent, as convenience stores boosted total figures with a 5.5 per cent LFL increase in the three weeks ending January 5th.
Commenting on the results, Peter Marks, The Co-operative Group CEO 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.”
Customers spent more than £35 million in The Co-Operative Food stores during a last-minute shopping frenzy on Christmas Eve, the busiest day of the year for food retailers.
Seasonal products sold particularly well over the festive period, with sales of champagne up 29 per cent, chilled seasonal dessert sales rising by 32 per cent, and a 20 per cent increase in gift card sales.
Marks commented: “Against a difficult economic environment, customers were keen to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with their friends and family.
“By continuing to focus on quality and value, The Co-operative, with our stores conveniently located in their communities, helped them do just that.”