Upmarket northern grocer Booths has reported like-for-likes were down 0.8% over Christmas in a “highly competitive retail climate”.

Total sales increased 0.6% in the six weeks to January 3.

Booths said overall growth was driven by home delivery and collect-in-store orders, which rose 34%. The grocer launched its first ever nationwide delivery service for the 2014 festive season.

Chairman Edwin Booth said: “Against the backdrop of a challenging retail market coupled with food deflation, sales at Booths held up reasonably well. As a comparison our performance for Christmas 2013 was the best ever, with sales up by over 6%, so we had a big sales target to hit in an increasingly volatile grocery market.

“The sharp increase in click-and-collect orders did really stretch us, as it did our competitors,” he added. “Our staff put in some pretty heroic efforts to get orders out, and I’d like to pay tribute to the supreme efforts made by everyone at Booths. We’ve learned a great deal from this Christmas, and have taken tremendous encouragement from the affection our customers have for Booths.

“With one season of UK delivery under our belt, we’re looking forward to refining and expanding our service in 2015.”