Sales up £10m at Lincolnshire Co-op

Community retailer Lincolnshire Co-op has seen sales rise by £10 million to reach a record £312 million.

Total sales were up by 3.5% for the 2016/17 financial year, with sales in food stores rising 6.8% and travel branches recording growth of 10.4%.

Despite falling £4 million from last year’s £20 million, the retailer said group trading surplus “remained healthy”.

It attributed this drop to rising pension costs and cuts in the NHS pharmacy income.

The retailer added that growth was enabled by the “introduction of more chilled food and food-to-go products, plus a busy refurbishment programme”.

This year, Lincolnshire Co-op shut its two food distribution centres in Lincoln and fully join the national co-operative distribution network.

This will offer more choice to food store customers and meets the demands of changing shopping habits, the retailer said.

It will also lead to significant savings, which can be invested in new and improved services.

Local businesses help develop, maintain and bring forward Lincolnshire Co-op’s services and property projects.

Over £12 million was spent with firms from the area this year. £1.5 million was invested in member and community support.

“There is no doubt that trading conditions are tough out there in many areas of our business,” said Chief Executive Ursula Lidbetter.

“To make sure we remain sustainable, we have to meet and adapt to these challenges and sometimes make difficult decisions, such as the closure of our distribution centres this year.

“It also takes hard work, ideas and energy. It’s testament to our dedicated colleagues and the support of our members that together, we’ve achieved another strong trading result.”