The Co-operative Group says its strong Christmas and New Year trading performance was helped by its increased marketing spend in the run up to Christmas.
Like-for-like sales, which exclude stores open for less than a year, increased by 5% in the three-weeks to 2 January, and by 4.8 per cent in the 12 weeks to 2 January.
Total sales in the same 12 weeks grew by 66 per cent, boosted by the Group’s acquisition of the Somerfield chain.
The Co-op weighed into the supermarket price war before Christmas with price cuts and a promotional package it claims saved customers over £200m.
The group also revealed its first ever triple dividend, which saw the group give its four million members vouchers worth 6p for every pound spent over Christmas.
Peter Marks, The Co-op Group chief executive, says the promotions and dividend were “well received” and boosted sales in its convenience and larger food stores attracting new customers and increased spend.
He added: “Our successful brand launch earlier in the year, together with a significantly up-weighted seasonal advertising campaign, had a positive impact, reinforcing both our ethical credentials and our return as a major force in UK retailing.”
Department store chain House of Fraser has reported its best Christmas week ever and with like-for-like sales up 7.1% for the eight weeks to 2 January. It’s Boxing Day sale saw jump of 27% from last year.
Meanwhile, Poundland the single price discount store reported like-for-like sales up 4.4% over the five weeks to 23 January. While total sales, including new stores were up 34.8% year-on-year.
The retailers join Next, John Lewis and Marks and Spencer which all reported strong Christmas trading last week.