Booths sees slight festive gain

Phil Tragen
Phil Tragen
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Booths, the family owned regional food and drink retailer recorded modest gains on its Christmas results.

The supermarket chain which opened its first shop in Blackpool in 1847 called the China House, said it had seen a total sales increase of 0.6 per cent in the six week Christmas trading period which ended on January 3.

But it said like for like sales decreased by 0.8 per cent.

In a highly competitive retail climate, the growth was attributed to Christmas home delivery and collect in store orders which rose by 34 per cent, as customers opted for online ordering.

Chairman Edwin Booth (pictured) said; “Against the backdrop of a challenging retail market coupled with food deflation, sales at Booths held up reasonably well.

“As a comparison our performance in Christmas 2013 was the best ever with sales up by over 6 per cent, so we had a big sales target to hit in an increasingly volatile grocery market.”

He said 2014 was a pivotal year for Booths as they trialled a “Deliver to the Nation” scheme which delivered orders to remote parts of Scotland, London and the South of England, a first in Booths’ 167 year history.

He said: “The sharp increase in click and collect orders did really stretch us, as it did our competitors.

“Our staff put in some pretty heroic efforts to get orders out, and I’d like to pay tribute to the supreme efforts made by everyone at Booths.

“We’ve learned a great deal from this Christmas, and have taken tremendous encouragement from the affection our customers have for Booths.

“With one season of UK delivery under our belt, we’re looking forward to refining and expanding our service in 2015.”