The Heart of England Co-operative Society has reported a 5.95% increase in like-for-like sales over the three-week Christmas period.

Sales increased in every one of the Society’s 32 stores on the same period a year earlier, when a prolonged cold snap drove a strong performance across the estate, with customers shopping little an often.

During Christmas week the Alfall Road store in Wyken saw sales increase by 35% year on year, while the Ryton store saw sales rise by 27%, and Galley Common and Long Itchington both recorded sales increases of 25%.

Steve Browne, general manager of the Heart of England Co-operative Society’s Food division, said: “We are pleased with our Christmas sales performance from all of our stores.

“We were up against a strong performance last year as the snow and prolonged bout of cold weather drove people to shop close to home in our stores, and the fall in sales recorded by other retailers this Christmas demonstrates just how tough the market is in general.”

Browne, a former McColl’s and Nisa executive, was appointed to his position earlier this month.