Appleby Westward, the regional distribution company for nearly 300 Spar stores throughout the south west, has reported “encouraging growth despite tougher market conditions” over Christmas and New Year.
Like-for-like sales for the four-week period, to January 10, 2014, showed an increase of 1.9% on the previous year, with the business enjoying six consecutive quarters of strong like-for-like growth.
“We are encouraged by these figures during this highly competitive period,” said Appleby Westward managing director Mark McCammond.”It has been a difficult trading period for many of the major multiples, and we are benefiting from the fact that customers are making more shopping trips to convenience stores.
“Our continued sales growth, despite tougher comparisons, shows our strategy is working as we ensure Spar stores have a strong offer in fresh foods, especially, evening meal solutions, fresh produce, meat and poultry. The year ahead will remain a tough trading environment, but we are well positioned to ensure our retailers continue to deliver a value offering and will help them drive sales by continuing to focus on achieving better use of existing space.”
He added that Appleby Westward would be redoubling its efforts to recruit new stores, grow its fresh food business and implement new store formats. During 2014, the business has earmarked £2m for co-investment development projects with Spar retailers in the region.