Booths’ reward for avoiding price war

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UPMARKET grocer Booths has seen its trading performance improve, after it decided to walk away from the supermarkets’ price war.

The company, which has stores in Ilkley, Ripon and Settle, recorded “modest” sales growth of 1.2 per cent to £273.6m last year.

However, sales this year have continued to improve, with Booths recording a sales growth of 4.2 per cent in the last 12 weeks.

Chairman Edwin Booth said that its trading since the year-end had begun to improve after Booths, “opted out of the price war which has engulfed the grocery sector”.

He said: “Consumers were buying as much as they could on deals and were increasingly attracted to offers on single lines as opposed to multi-buys.

“Rather than reduce more prices, Booths started to develop initiatives centred on its core expertise – high quality food and drink. These have already started to drive improved profitability in the present financial year.” 

He added: “We have made a conscious decision to develop increased authority in the retailing of food and drink and we are going to express this with strong and attractive branding.”

The retailer opened two new-format stores in Penrith, Cumbria, and the BBC’s MediaCityUK complex in Salford in the year.

Booths is carrying out a £2m rebrand of all 28 of its stores.

The grocer has launched its website and re-introduced a ‘click-and-collect’ service which was piloted last Christmas, with a view to making the service permanent. Booths has also developed a dedicated website to liaise with suppliers.

Mr Booth added: “Booths continue to focus on efficiencies.”