I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard over the holiday period – we’ve had our best Christmas ever.
In Food we did incredibly well, achieving +6.2% like-for-like sales and performing ahead of the market. Our seasonal lines sold over £61m, over 9% more than this time last year. We sold more than 16 million mince pies, which laid one in front of the other would stretch from our support centre in Manchester to Paris! Our Prosecco went down well too with half a million litres bought by our members and customers.
I’m sure there were many examples of colleagues going the extra mile for our customers, but Betty’s story stood out for me. Betty, one of Adeyfield’s regular customers, went into the store on 23 December in tears explaining how her fridge freezer, with all her Christmas food in it, had broken down.
Not only did the store team put the word out locally for anyone with a spare fridge/freezer for Betty, they also got it picked up and delivered for her and replaced the food she’d lost. The reaction to the story locally was amazing and this is a great example of us at our best – exactly what Being Co-op is all about. My thanks go out to Kim Nield and her team at the store.
Our Funeralcare colleagues supported over 5,000 families at this most difficult time.
Also hot off the press, we’ve just been awarded Best Funeral Plan Provider in the Moneynet Personal Finance awards 2018 and picked up 5* ratings for our gold and silver plans from Fairer Finance too – a fantastic achievement.
Insurance colleagues were busy answering over 24,000 claims calls and over 14,000 service calls in our centres. We also received 4,477 new claims from our customers.
Thanks so much for all your fantastic efforts which set us up really well for 2018.
This year’s going to be an exciting one, but it’ll also be challenging as we continue to change and grow our businesses. We’ll share our new Co-op ambition for the next five years with you very soon and get to work quickly on making it happen.
As ever, you’ll be at the centre of everything we do. I know you’ll approach this year with the same enthusiasm and commitment you always do.
Here’s to a successful 2018.