Lancashire supermarket Booths is back in profit after rise in customer spend

Lancashire’s own supermarket, Booths, is back in the black after a busy year following the disruption of the coronavirus lockdowns.
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The Preston-based firm saw sales grown by 6.1 per cent (£16.3m) to £284.1m, resulting in a rise in pre-tax profits of £6m to post a figure of £1.9m for 2021 following 2020’s loss of £4.1m.

Booths reported that the number of customers through the doors was down, particularly in the Lake District stores and that profits were also hit by the Booths cafes, a significant part of the business, being closed for most of the year.

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The drop in footfall prompted the decision to shut its Media City store in Salford, due to increasing losses.

Edwin BoothEdwin Booth
Edwin Booth

But it said that while footfall had been down, the actual amount customers spent was up, including having a strong Christmas trading where sales grew by 11.8 per cent over the key three week trading period.

Business to business sales grew by 90 per cent to £11.1m with Amazon contributing an increasing proportion of sales. The food and drink retailer said it continued to protect jobs and to pay colleagues needing to isolate, reaching a peak of 25 per cent of the total workforce in the earlier parts of the year. It said it did not use the furlough scheme and costs associated with Covid-19 overall were offset by the rates relief.

Chairman Edwin Booth thanked staff for their efforts in a difficult time and said the business had come out stronger.

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He said: “Our teams focused on caring for customers, each other and communities during this turbulent time.

Inside the St Annes Booths storeInside the St Annes Booths store
Inside the St Annes Booths store

"It is said that good businesses find their true self in a crisis, and this has certainly been the case with Booths. While the pandemic has put enormous pressures on both the business and individuals it has also provided a stimulating environment and energised all the colleagues to “just get stuff done.”