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Seasonal sales up by 7%

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Sales at Lincolnshire Co-op’s food stores grew during the busy festive season with customers taking advantage of extra dividend and a choice of seasonal locally-sourced products.

In the three week period from 17th December to 6th January like-for-like sales in the Society’s food stores saw a 7% increase.

In December, Lincolnshire Co-op paid out a dividend bonus of £1.9m to its 280,000 members, on top of the £2.2m collected during the year. In that month, members used £1.3m of dividend to pay for their shopping in food stores.

Goods from the Society’s trading area performed well during the period:

• Lincolnshire Co-op's own local bakery Gadsby's saw its festive range sales increase by almost eight per cent with a record-breaking 240,000 individual mince pies sold.

• Sales of the Love Local range, products sourced from the area, shot up by over 80%. These are now on shelves and in chillers alongside other goods of their type, making it even easier for shoppers to choose local.

There were also special seasonal products on offer including Hawken’s Gingerbread, made in Grantham, gift packs from F.A.B (Ferry Ales Brewery) based in Fiskerton and chipolatas and sausage meat from Boston Sausage.

• The current trend around gin saw sales of the drink increase by 70% compared to the previous year. Lincolnshire Co-op trialled a Love Local gin for the first time in a number food stores, and will also look for others to stock in future.

Chief Retail Officer Mark Finn said: "All our team work hard to provide a valued service to our customers, especially at Christmas time. We’re delighted that together, our quality, value, range of products and good service has led to a strong sales growth.

“Our Love Local range supports producers across our area, helping to grow the local economy. We’re especially pleased to see so many shoppers giving these fantastic products a try this festive season.

"We paid out our dividend bonus on December 1st and lots of our members decided to use dividend to treat themselves during the month. We also raised more than £70,000 during December for our Community Champions, local charities working to deliver social inclusion for the over 50s.”

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