Rural products retailer Countrywide has invested £2m in “stamping down prices” to combat difficult consumer spending conditions.

The retailer said rising food and fuel costs were impacting the rural community and it is lowering prices across its range of products from animal feed to clothing.

Chief executive John Hardman said: “We understand times are tough and so have reviewed our whole business, including products and services, logistics and delivery and overall pricing structure, the result of which is the implementation of a new strategy to ensure we deliver a ‘good deal better’ to our customers.

“This new approach has been rolled out across all our stores along with maintaining our commitment to provide expert advice and great customer service, delivered by fully qualified staff.”

The introduction of the lower prices comes as the retailer begins a store refit programme. The revamped stores include new lighting, flooring and merchandising as well as an increased number of bulk deals and a move away from fashion products to appeal to its traditional customer base of farmers.

Countrywide reported a fall in operating profits to £1.3m in the year to May 31, down from a record £4m the previous year.

Sales increased by 18% to £266.7m, up from £226.3m in 2011, driven by new business and recent acquisitions. 

The result follows a review of the business’ structure which started late last year. The company has acquired a number of suppliers and made redundancies earlier this year.