COOK grows like-for-like sales by 6.6% during festive period
COOK, the upmarket frozen food retailer, saw like-for-like sales grow by 6.6% in the six weeks to the end of December.
Total sales from COOK’s 85 shops nationwide increased to a record £7.3 million. The company sold an additional £1.3 million worth of products through its branded freezer concessions in other retailers in the same period, up 27.2% on the previous year.
During the six weeks, COOK continued with its policy of not discounting in December other than on its two Stress-Free Christmas Lunch bundles for two or eight people. Sales of its Stress-Free Lunch for Eight rose by 42% on the previous year.
Edward Perry, co-founder and managing director of COOK, said: “Christmas is always when people go in search of real quality in terms of food but also increasingly seek out value. It’s therefore hugely encouraging to post such a strong set of sales figures and is a real testament to the care everyone puts in to making our food at our kitchens in Kent and Somerset, and to the personal service provided in our shops.”
COOK said one of its most successful new seasonal products was a Chocolate & Salted Caramel Vacharin pudding, retailing for £17. “This pudding shows what we’re all about,” said Perry. “It’s horribly complicated to make three layers of different meringue by hand, carefully put them together with layers of whipped cream and then cover the whole lot with cream, salted caramel and chocolate shards so it looks spectacular.”
Online sales via click and collect or home delivery were up 36% over the period in the busiest areas with doorstep deliveries accounting for 40% of total shop sales.
Perry added: “There’s no doubt that this Christmas saw consumers embracing online food shopping as never before. However, before getting carried away, it’s worth noting that good old bricks-and-mortar sales still accounted for 85% of our business overall. Our online shopping experience at cookfood.net has been transformed in recent years. That showed with the conversion rate of people visiting the site and subsequently shopping being up by 19% on the previous year.
“We need to make sure we match the same continual improvements in experience in our physical shops, offering a level of personal service and hospitality that the supermarkets can only ever aspire to.”