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Local products shine in positive year


Sales of local goods sourced from producers across Lincolnshire Co-op’s trading area hit a record high of £3.2m, just one of the star performances in a strong year for the community-owned business. 

In the 2017/18 financial year, sales of the Society’s Love Local range shot up by 45 per cent. 41 firms supply Lincolnshire Co-op’s food stores with 189 different products including cheese made near Skegness, Grimsby smoked haddock, sausages sourced from Boston, beer brewed in Fiskerton and many more.

Rising customer numbers and an increased basket spend saw sales rise 6.9 per cent in food stores. Investment in services like in-store bakery, improved chilled ranges and high standards during April’s ‘beast from the east’ and the hot summer also helped boost performance. 

Lincolnshire Co-op saw total sales increase by 5.4 per cent to £329m during the year, with group trading surplus up 10.2 per cent to £17.7m.

Check out some of the Society's achievements - including initiatives like Community Champions fundraising and the Community Cuppa scheme - in this video:

Highlights of the year included:

  • Passenger numbers up 3.5 per cent in travel branches leading to sales growth of 5.4 per cent.
  • As well as delivering more than 16,000 medicine reviews and checks, administering 3,500 flu jabs and giving 600 health checks, the Society’s pharmacies dispensed 2.4 per cent more prescriptions.
  • More people entrusted Lincolnshire Co-op’s expert teams with funeral arrangements. 
  • Lincolnshire Co-op uses local firms where possible to construct and maintain its services and the Society spent £11m with those businesses this year, including building ten new outlets. 
  • Colleagues at Lincolnshire Co-op benefit from a profit share. This year, they received equivalent to 140 per cent of a weekly wage as a thank you for their contribution.

The strong trading result means those who go to the Society’s Annual Members’ Meetings in November will be asked to approve a dividend bonus of 85p per £1 of dividend collected during the year. 

If given the go-ahead, members will share £1.9m in bonus on top of the £2.2m paid out during the year – a total of £4.1m. The bonus will be paid onto members’ dividend cards in the first week of December.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s Chief Executive Ursula Lidbetter said: “We’re delighted with our strong trading performance this year, particularly in the current tough retail climate. It’s not just about the figures, though. I’m proud of all the ways we make an impact in our community. 

“Looking after people’s wellbeing with the Community Cuppa scheme, aiming to bring people together and help them make connections. Boosting the local economy by using firms from our area to build our outlets. Giving smaller producers a route to a wider customer base through our successful Love Local range. It all makes a difference.

“I’m thankful to colleagues, members, volunteers and everyone we work with, for coming together to achieve what we have this year.”