11th January, 2017 by Arabella Mileham
UK multiple retailer The Co-op toasted strong Christmas sales with Italian fizz as its own brand Prosecco became its highest-selling line in the key trading period.
The convenience retailer, which heavily over-trades in wine, reported like-for-likes up 3.5% in the three weeks 31st December.
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Chief executive of Co-op Food Steve Murrells said the focus on convenience and an “ever stronger local supermarket offer” underpinned the strong results, along with greater availability which saw 300,000 fewer gaps than last Christmas.
“Before Christmas, we knew that we were in a really good place to have a great seasonal trading period. We’d learnt a lot from 2015 and had strong plans in place to deliver a fantastic Co-op Christmas,” he said, adding that Christmas Eve was the retailer’s busiest trading day in the year.
“Our biggest selling line was our own brand Prosecco and we had great sales success across produce as a whole, with our availability on core lines being better than ever in the run up to the big day.”
It comes the day after Aldi reported that its Christmas was fueled by Prosecco, with around 69,000 bottles selling per day, while recoveing Morrions also hailed its BWS for its 3.5% Christmas recovery. Discounters Aldi and Lidl saw the largest leap in sales in KantarWorldpanel trading update although Tesco won the top spot for best performing of the big four retailers during the festive period. Majestic also reported bumper Christmas sales.
The company is planning to boost the number of food stores by 100 during 2017 as part of its ongoing strategy to a strengthen its estate of larger convenience stores. It also wants to recruit a million new members, following the relaunch of its membership scheme in September.
In March, The Co-op added 33 new wines and adopted more tailored ranges for different types of stores in its estate, with store types clustered by areas, shopper mission and customer profiles, rather than purely by size, which significantly boosted sales.