Preston based upmarket foodstore Booths celebrates its busiest Christmas period in its 167-year history.
While the food business as a whole suffered a fall in fortunes, with soon to be ex-head of Sainsbury’s Justin King describing this Christmas as the worst in his 30 years of retailing, Booths reported buoyant festive numbers.
The premium retailer, which has headquarters in Ribbleton, seemingly charmed shoppers into parting with their cash. Booths launched a festive marketing campaign early with a plush, expensive looking Christmas book, encouraging customers to order ahead of time and showing off Booths products.
The supermarket posted a 6% rise in sales for like-for-likes during the Christmas season while the ‘big four’ sales dipped.
Booths Chairman Edwin Booth said the main driver for the great results over Christmas were thanks to the luxurious 180-page brochure the retailer produced. Mr Booth described the brochure ‘astonishing’ and said it really showed of the fabulous products that customers could order to collect. Customers care about quality and provenance at Christmas – they want to know they are buying the best.
Helped by the impressive brochure Booths reported a 22% uplift in reserve orders.
With only 29 stores, mainly in the North West, Booths is admired by the grocery industry and seen as a breeding ground for new product trends and innovation. They are innovating with an experimental and very unusual wine tasting ‘machine’ offering 64 wines at any one time.
The store is also experimenting with their own take on misting only seen so far in Morrisons supermarkets. Edwin Booth describes the veg mister as ‘sexy’.
Listen to the Booths Chairman talk about the new additions to his stores in this clip
Booths bought Preston-based fresh produce supplier Sharrocks last November giving them “real authority” in talking to customers about food and the supply chain. The retailer is looking to gain greater control over its supply chain and work more closely with farmers and growers.
Booths has been a family owned business since 1847. Sharrocks is a fourth generation, family business, previously owned and run by the Eastham family. It has worked with Booths for over 40 years, as well as supplying and distributing fruit and vegetables to other independent retailer.
The retailer has also joined the loyalty card price match and discount battle to tempt shoppers away from bigger rivals.
The chain has a strong presence in Preston with shops in Fulwood opposite Royal Preston Hospital, Ashton at Woodplumpton Road, a store at Millbrook Way in Penwortham as well as facilities at the Bluebell Way. Booths Central Office is on Longridge Road at Ribbleton in Preston. The famous Booths clock bridge can still be seen in the city centre reflecting the retailers long history with the town.