Butchery chain Crawshaw is to spread out from the North of England and build a national network of stores with plans to “greatly accelerate” its store roll out.
The Rotherham-based firm announced the plans at its AGM today after reporting strong trading with like-for-like sales up an impressive 13.4 per cent in 2014.
Chairman Richard rose told shareholders: “We are delighted with this performance given like-for-like sales were up eight per cent through May and June last year.
“The strong performance is widely spread across our store portfolio and, added to this, our reduced cost new store fit out has worked well.“
Talking about the plans to expand nationally, he said: “Having proven our retail model in the North of England we believe we are ready to take the concept across the UK.”
The group is planning to recruit a chief executive officer to spearhead the growth and support Kevin Boyd, who will remain managing director.
As a first step Crawshaw has signed a 10 year agreement for lease on a new factory and distribution centre in Rotherham. It will consolidate its two existing sites in Grimsby and Rotherham into this new facility.
“The space at the new site will give us much additional capacity and is better located which we believe will lead to a more productive and efficient operation,” said Mr Rose.
“Running costs are expected to be slightly less than our current set up, and we will open a factory shop on the site which we expect to trade well given the performance of our existing out of town store in Scunthorpe.
“We are extremely excited by this opportunity and look forward to the future with great confidence.“
Earlier this year Crawshaw reported a trebling in annual profits as cash-strapped shoppers switched to the firm from more expensive rivals.