Booker Wholesale has recorded a 5.5% increase in like-for-like retail sales for the 24 weeks to 11 September 2009. This is compared to a decline of 0.5% in the same period of 2008.

In its interim results, the group also posted a 7.7% increase of total like-for-like sales to £1.6bn. Non-tobacco like-for-like sales
increased by 9.4% and tobacco like-for-like sales were up by 5.1%.

Retail sales director Steve Fox attributed the increases to extended opening hours and more choice for customers despite the economic climate.

“Whilst the market remains challenging, we are making positive progress with more independent retailers shopping at Booker,” said Fox. “Our retail sales have grown 5.5% which is encouraging and customers say we are doing a better job for them. By continuing to focus on increasing choice, lowering prices and improving our service, we have kept up our record of helping independent retailers increase their sales and profits – and we are determined to keep doing so.”

The group's retail arm also grew during this period with 185 more retailers joining Booker bringing the total amount of Premier stores in the UK to 2,392.