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Co-operative's stores enjoying bumper trade

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: January 16, 2014

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THE co-operative's retail stores, which range from Cornwall through to the Scottish borders, sold almost £179 million worth of goods during the year.

These include ten Mole Valley Farmers branches which increased sales to £86.1 million, 18 SCATS Countrystores (£48.5 million); ten Mole County Stores, formerly CWG Countrystores (£20.6 million); Cox & Robinson (£6.5 million) and Bridgmans at £9.3 million.

Since March, the recently acquired eight Farmway stores contributed £6.7 million in retail sales.

The company's report said: "Every store increased sales on the previous year. The top performing store was Bridgend in South Wales in only its third year of trading, sales increased by 30.7%.

"The decision to take the 'Mole' brand to a new geographical area outside the South West has created new opportunity in a large agricultural area with sales increasing by 7.1% and transaction numbers growing substantially.

"Mole Valley Farmers online orders increased by 4.0% resulting in sales growth of 7.0%. "Visits to the website increased by more than 20% to over two million annually.

"During the end of 2012, Mole Valley Farmers launched two animal veterinary practices. Combined, these practices have already attracted over 500 farming clients."

Meanwhile the renewables business, Mole Energy, has installed more than 80 Biomass projects.

The report said: "Since Mole Energy started three years ago, it has supplied renewable projects across the South West that now produce over 16 megawatts of electricity, enough to power over 7000 households."

Chief executive Andrew Jackson said: "We believe our values set us apart from our competitors; they underpin our strategy and govern the way we think and behave towards the farming community.

"I cannot thank the staff enough for all their hard work and effort during the year, as well as our farming shareholders and our customers for their continued patronage."

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