Sales at Lincolnshire Co-op have risen by £7m to £160m this half year, enabling the retailer to invest in a variety of valued services and developments across its trading area.
Total sales in the six months to March 5th 2018 went up by 4.6 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Food stores saw sales grow by 6.1 per cent. The Love Local range, sourced from producers in the Society’s region, recorded an outstanding sales increase of 61 per cent. These products can now be found with others of their type instead of a specific display, which makes it even easier for customers to buy local and help grow the area’s economy.
More people chose to entrust the Society with funeral arrangements. Many also invested in a Lincolnshire Co-op funeral plan to record their wishes and secure costs at today’s prices.
All of Lincolnshire Co-op’s pharmacies achieved healthy living status and the number of prescriptions dispensed went up by 2.1 per cent to 2.8m.
Holidaymakers continued to seek independent advice from the Society’s travel branches with sales up by 2.6 per cent.
Lincolnshire Co-op’s successful sales performance has helped it plough £16m into capital projects including opening a new travel agency in Retford, funeral homes in Market Rasen and Coningsby and an arrangement office in Caistor. Popular travel agencies in Lincoln and Grantham, plus a pharmacy in Hull’s Bransholme, were also relocated to new homes.
Large property developments led by Lincolnshire Co-op moved forward thanks to continued capital investment during the half year. The M&S Food Hall in Lincoln’s Tritton Road opened and new businesses - restaurant Cosy Club and Thomas Cook - moved into the refurbished Corn Exchange building in Lincoln’s city centre.
Group trading surplus for the half year was £7.7m, well ahead of budget. It’s lower than the last half year’s £8.5m with continuing cuts to pharmacy income and rising costs such as repairs, wages and rates having an impact.
Every time a member shops in a Lincolnshire Co-op outlet, a donation is made to a good cause through the Community Champions scheme. Colleague fundraising and proceeds from the sale of carrier bags also goes into the pot.
During the half year, £108,000 was split between 167 local charities and community groups such as scout clubs, sports groups and health organisations.
Lincolnshire Co-op also donated £153,000 to 63 lunch clubs, friendship groups and charities tackling loneliness through Community Champions.
12,737 new members joined Lincolnshire Co-op over the six months and can now take advantage of benefits such as dividend on what they buy and exclusive offers from other local businesses.
The Society’s 2,800 colleagues were rewarded for their hard work with a profit share equal to 65 per cent of a weekly wage.
Chief Executive Ursula Lidbetter said: “I’m pleased with this half year’s positive performance. Being successful means that together, we can invest in valued services, community projects and developments which help make life better in our communities.
“My thanks go to everyone who is helping us do that – from colleagues, members and customers to the many groups and organisations we work co-operatively with.”