Crawshaw Group turnaround continues following strong Christmas period
Published:  06 January, 2017

The Crawshaw Group has reported a strong festive period, with sales and footfall rising. 

In the five weeks to 1 January 2017, the group reported a 13% year-on-year growth in group sales, with a similar rise in customer numbers for the period.

Like-for-like sales were -3.8% for the five weeks ended 1 January 2017 having improved from -8.1% for the four weeks ended 27 November 2016. Like-for-like customer numbers were -4.2% having improved from -9.7% for the same periods.

This growth in sales marks continued progress in turning around a drop in sales that impacted it in the first half of 2016. The business revised its pricing and ranging structure in order to halt the decline in sales. This revision did result in a drop in gross margin for the business.

In a statement, it said: “As previously communicated, this improvement in both sales and customer number momentum has required a moderate level of margin investment, with gross margins in the like-for-like stores at 43.6% H2 2017 to date (versus 44.9% H2 2016 to date).”

Given the turnaround in sales and customer numbers, the Crawshaw board “remains confident in achieving full year market expectations”.

Noel Collett, chief executive officer, 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.”

The group also announced a change in personnel. Mick Charles has been promoted from senior supply chain manager to head of buying and supply chain where he will have responsibility for all meat trading and buying.
He replaces Kevin Patrick Boyd who is leaving the business by mutual consent. The changes take place with immediate effect.

Richard Rose, chairman, said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Kevin for his loyalty and commitment in his 25 years of service and wish him well for the future. We would also like to congratulate Mick on his promotion, his wealth of meat buying experience has already played a significant role in the recent improvements in sales performance.”