The Heart of England Co-operative Society reported strong trading figures for the Christmas period. 

Food sales for the Society reached £8.2m, showing a 5% increase for the seven-week period over Christmas compared to the same period last year. Non-food sales were up 14% on last year, topping £3.5m.

The week leading up to Christmas was the best for food sales, with the stores achieving as much as 37% rise in sales to the same week of 2008.

Newly refurbished stores in Southam and Earlsdon achieved the highest levels of sales increases of all 55 Heart of England stores.

“We are delighted to report an increase in year-on-year sales over the festive period,” said chief executive Ali Kurji. “It is no secret that the retail industry has suffered a huge loss in the past two years and this country has lost a number of its most established traders along the way.”