The Co-operative’s electrical sales have rocketed after the mutual lowered prices and revamped a third of its departments.
The retailer reworked 70 of its 240 electrical departments within its food stores in December and January and has enjoyed a 45% uplift in like-for-like sales year-on-year since the revamp.
The reworked departments include improved displays, better lighting, taking products out of boxes and lowered prices.
The department has defied performance in the wider group where group pre-tax profit fell 5.8% to £373m in the year to December 31.
James Holland, managing director at The Co-operative e-stores and electrical buying group, said the retailer had “sharpened prices” in store in line with internet prices.
He said: “A lot of the other grocers sell own brands or lesser brands but ours are big brands and more comparable so we decided to bring in-store prices in line with online.”
The retailer shelved plans to bring in click and collect and in-store kiosks to concentrate on the 70 reworked stores, and brought forward by nine months a project to install wireless management in its warehouse to complete it in December.
The kiosks, a click and collect service and a mobile site are all now planned to be implemented at the end of the year.
Holland said overall electrical sales are up 5% from January 1 to May 26 driven by small appliances and home entertainment products.
He also attributed the market-defying performance to its Rapid Delivery Service which has included a free 90 minute delivery service since 2005 and will improve to 60 minutes by the end of the year.
Holland said The Co-operative is defying the wider electricals market. He said: “With so many businesses closing stores or going into liquidation customers want to know the shop will still be there if they have problems with electricals.
“The businesses doing well are those who prioritise customer service and brand longevity. The market has moved to a deal-driven environment.”