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January 11, 2010

UK: Price cuts boost Co-op festive sales

The Co-operative Group saw like-for-like sales increase 4.8% boosted by price cuts and promotions over the Christmas period.

The Co-operative Group saw like-for-like sales increase 4.8% boosted by price cuts and promotions over the Christmas period.

The UK’s fifth-largest retailer said today (11 January) that the trading performance in its food stores was “strong” over Christmas and New Year as it slashed prices and launched promotions in a programme worth over GBP200m (US$323m) in customer savings.

Like-for-like sales (including VAT and excluding fuel) increased by 5% in the three-week festive trading period to 2 January, and by 4.8% in the 12 weeks to 2 January. 

In the same 12 weeks, total year-on-year sales (including VAT, excluding fuel) grew by 66%, boosted by the acquisition of Somerfield.

“These results represent another strong trading performance from our food business in an increasingly competitive market and a difficult economic climate,” said Peter Marks, group chief executive.

He added: “Our successful brand launch earlier in the year, together with a significantly up-weighted seasonal advertising campaign, had a positive impact, reinforcing both our ethical credentials and our return as a major force in UK retailing.”

The retailer said it recorded “particularly strong performances” in meat and poultry, chilled foods, beers, wines and spirits and confectionery.

Sales of Fairtrade confectionery increased by 26%.
 
“Looking ahead, we expect the economic pressures to continue until towards the end of 2010 or the first half of 2011, so we will be redoubling our efforts to help customers by providing even greater value,” Marks added.

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