Lincolnshire Co-op has announced a 7% increase in like-for-like sales during the three-week Christmas period with the society’s Love Local range performing particularly well.

The sales growth at the group’s food stores, between December 7 and January 6, was helped by extra dividend being given to customers and a focus on a seasonal locally-sourced product range.

In December, Lincolnshire Co-op paid out a dividend bonus of £1.9m to its 280,000 members, on top of £2.2m collected during the 2017. Lincolnshire Co-op members used £1.3m of dividend to pay for their shopping across the society’s c-stores.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s own local bakery Gadsby’s saw its festive range sales increase by almost 8%, with a record-breaking 240,000 individual mince pies sold.

Sales of the group’s Love Local range increased by more than 80% during the three-week Christmas period, while gin sales rose by 70% compared to the same period in 2016.

Lincolnshire Co-op chief retail officer Mark Finn said: “All our team work hard to provide a valued service to our customers, especially at Christmas time. We’re delighted that together, our quality, value, range of products and good service has led to a strong sales growth.

“Our Love Local range supports producers across our area, helping to grow the local economy. We’re especially pleased to see so many shoppers giving these fantastic products a try this festive season.

He added: “We paid out our dividend bonus on December 1 and lots of our members decided to use dividend to treat themselves during the month. We also raised more than £70,000 during December for our Community Champions, local charities working to deliver social inclusion for the over 50s.”