Central England Co-op sales down after lockdown peak

Central England Co-op has taken a hit since the “dramatic spike” in sales last year, although trading remained above pre-pandemic levels.

Executives hailed its 19th-century business model for seeing the society through “good times and bad”.

In the six months to August 7, gross sales fell by almost £10 million to £477.9 million, while trading profit slipped from £19.3 million to £15.7 million.

However, this was significantly higher than 2019 sales (£458.1 million) and trading profit (£11.4 million).

READ MORE: Central England Co-op donates £12k to charity

Capital expenditure was up by £2.2 million from last year, with the Co-op having built two food stores and refurbished 23.

Members, workers and communities were handed a £2.1 million dividend, down £200,000 compared to before the pandemic.

Eighty-six charities shared £84,000 from its Community Dividend Fund.

“Our society has continued to perform well,” president Jane Avery said.

“We have not sat on our laurels and taken it for granted that those who discovered us during the pandemic would remain loyal, but have continued to… attract and retain new customers.”

“This model has worked successfully for over 175 years and has been resilient in good times and bad.”

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