Booths, the North West foodstore chain whose central office is in Preston, has bucked the downward financial trend reporting strong like-for-like sales of 3.48% for the month of December 2012.
The family-owned and managed grocer, which has more stores in Preston than any other area said the lastest Booths store to open in Milnthorpe in Cumbria, helped it deliver a record Christmas, with total sales growth of 5.61% compared with 2011.
Booths, which now has 29 stores, said it had seen evidence that customers had saved for the Christmas holiday period and had traded-up to buy luxury products.
The business did not slash prices to woo more customers, meaning that margins could be protected.
Chief operating officer, Chris Dee said; “Our pre-orders were up by 58% with customers ordering in advance for the day…we refused to enter discounting battles over the Christmas period preferring to focus on stocking the exceptional produce our customers come to expect from Booths…we have a canny Northern consumer base they keep us on our toes in terms of service, price and quality. They expect the best from Booths, and this Christmas we delivered just that.”
Indications of a trade upwards in luxury goods was evidenced by a 39% increase in smoked salmon sales, a 23% rise in sales of vintage champagne and a 27% increase on magnums of standard champagne.
The Booths story began in 1847, Tea dealer Edwin Henry Booth, then aged 19, opened The China House in Blackpool having borrowed £80 in goods from the Preston grocer who’d taught him his trade. Just three months later, he repaid the debt and made a profit of £50.