Crawshaw plans national expansion

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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 fi​r​m ​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 shareho​ld​ers: ​“​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.