Lockdowns send Co-op supermarket sales soaring
THE Co-operative Group expects supermarket sales to surge in the North East in the coming weeks after new restrictions for the region were announced.
Chief executive Steve Murrells said local lockdowns had boosted sales in areas where curbs had been placed on bars and restaurants.
“We’d expect to see a bounce up in the north-eastern part of the country in the coming days, and where local lockdowns have taken place – Leicester and Birmingham – we’ve seen much stronger like-for-like sales,” he said.
Wider restrictions would “most definitely” lead to increased trading at Co-op stores, Mr Murrells said.
Kantar data on Tuesday suggested that Co-op sales have increased by more than a quarter in areas where local lockdowns have been imposed.
It came as the retailer reported a surge in half-year sales on the back of “exceptional” food and wholesale trading during the height of the pandemic.
Total revenues jumped by 7.6pc to £5.8bn for the 26 weeks to July 4.
Funeral volumes increased dramatically but revenues rose at a far lower rate due to pricing restrictions amid the crisis, up just 3.5pc to £148m.
The Co-op said food revenues rose by 5.2pc to £3.9bn, with 9.9pc like-forlike growth in the second quarter.
Costs from the pandemic, including recruitment and PPE, took a £54m toll and are set to hit £97m for the full year. The Co-op is also seeking to expand its online delivery capacity after such sales increased fourfold in the period.
It has made a commitment to invest £130m in 50 new shops, expanding 15 and revamping another 100, creating 1,000 jobs before the end of the year.
Change of gear
Automotive giant Volkswagen is considering offloading its luxury performance marque Bugatti to Rimac, the Croatian electric car manufacturer. The potential agreement between the pair could see the German company take a stake in the enlarged business. However, both companies declined to comment yesterday.