Food and wine retailer Booths recorded solid year end results against the backdrop of a tumultuous grocery market. Sales were down slightly by 0.5%, held back by food deflation and a highly competitive retail market. The business recorded a modest profit. During this financial year Booths opened a new store in Barrowford, Lancashire, and by the end of 2015 will have opened a further four stores, marking the largest and most ambitious expansion in the group’s history.
Booths also made significant financial investments in a “Fair Milk” scheme in May 2014, vowing to pay the highest farm gate price in the market to farmers supplying Booths. All own label milk was rebranded as “Fair Milk”, and the scheme was widely praised by the farming industry and MPs in Westminster. The retailer is looking to further the “Fair Milk” scheme to wider dairy markets like cream and cheese, strengthening their support for farmers and producers they see as key to their business.
Booths CEO Chris Dee said: “In a highly charged retail market Booths has stayed true to their roots by undertaking fair practice with suppliers. Our suppliers are vital to the continued success of Booths and we remain committed to supporting small scale artisan producers and farmers. Because our stores are often located in rural areas, our farmers are often our customers as well as suppliers and supporting them in challenging times is part of the Booths DNA.”
“Longevity in business requires investment in strong relationships with suppliers and new markets. With the addition of 5 new stores to Booths estate, an exceptional “Great Northern Christmas” offer, available nationwide, and a significantly increased own label range, Booths can look forward to a bright future.”
“Selling top quality produce served by first class assistants was the aim of the first Edwin Booth; that 1847 formula still works for us in increasingly competitive markets. I have every confidence that our value, quality, provenance and service will sustain Booths in the current retail climate.”
Store openings from April 2015-16 financial year include, Hale Barns, Cheshire; Burscough, St Anne’s and Poulton, Lancashire.