Friday, January 6, 2017

News: Crawshaw encouraged by Christmas trading

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The board of Rotherham-based fresh meat and food to go retailer, Crawshaw Group PLC is encouraged by the response to the changes it was forced to make in the light of falling sales.

The AIM-listed Hellaby firm confirmed a reduction in like for like sales towards the end of 2016 but added that expansion will continue. Growth plans involve the investment of £200m, opening 200 stores and creating 2,500 jobs.

An update on Christmas trading for the five week period to January 1 2017 stated that the company has continued to build on the progress noted November with improvements in sales and customer numbers being maintained through December.

Group sales were up 13% in the five week period versus the prior year, with total customer numbers also up 13% for the same period. Like-for-like sales were still down on the previous year at -3.8% but up from -8.1% for the four weeks ended November 27 2016. Like-for-like customer numbers were -4.2% having improved from -9.7% for the same periods.

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The group now operates 50 stores with the latest opening in Gorton, Manchester.

As new stores opened, standardised offers and price points were also introduced into existing stores but the management admitted that they "didn't resonate as well with customers as we thought."

Changes were made to give store managers flexibility to re-introduce local products, sizes, price points and offers that were previously on sale in their specific store.

On Christmas trading, Noel Collett, CEO of Crawshaw, said: "We continue to be encouraged by the customer response to the recent changes we've made which have translated into further progress over the festive trading period. Our new hamper range was particularly well received with almost 3,000 hampers sold in the Christmas week.

"Our focus will continue to be centred on anchoring our value credentials and we will step up our marketing activity to maintain our current momentum in building customer frequency and loyalty."

Crawshaw website

Images: Crawshaws


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