Half year sales down for Central England Co-op

Sales for Central England Co-op fell by 1.9 per cent for its latest half year trading period.

Chief executive Debbie Robinson
Chief executive Debbie Robinson

The Lichfield-based retailer's gross sales decreased from £487.3 million in 2020 to £477.9m for the six months to August 7.

The figure was 4.3 per cent ahead of the £458.1m figure for the pre-pandemic period in 2019

The society, which operates more than 400 food, funeral and floral sites across 16 counties, saw trading profit of £15.7m. It was down on £19.3m in 2020 but up from 2019's £11.4m

Capital expenditure of £7.7m saw two new food stores completed and 23 refurbishments carried out during the six months, with more planned in the second half of the year

Members, staff and communities benefited from the success of the society by sharing in a £2.1m dividend pay-out wth 86 good causes and charities sharing £84,000 from its Community Dividend Fund

The hard work of staff helped the retailer be named leading Co-op of the year by Co-operatives UK for the third time

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op chief executive, said: “Thank you to our members, for your loyalty and support, and thank you to our valued colleagues across our family of Co-operative businesses for making sure our members and customers in the communities in which we serve could access the food and goods they needed, as well as providing consistently high standards of care for the deceased and support to the bereaved.

“As reported last year, the first half of 2020 showed a dramatic spike in trading performance after the first lock-down in March 2020."

Jane Avery, society president, said: “Our society has continued to perform well; we have not sat on our laurels and taken it for granted that those who discovered us during the pandemic would remain loyal but have continued to innovate and attract and retain new customers. What we do, the success we have, is done for and on behalf of our members. This model has worked successfully for over 175 years and has been resilient in good times and bad.”

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