Dobbies has posted an increase in Christmas sales as the business cashed in on growing shopper numbers.

The garden centre chain registered an 8% uplift in like for likes in the six weeks to December 30, driven by “record” sales of real Christmas trees and restaurant revenues.

Dobbies said total sales increased 21% to £24.1m during the crucial trading period.

The retailer hailed “stronger customer conversion” as it took advantage on a 6% increase in footfall during the festive season.

Dobbies chief executive Graeme Jenkins said: “Our Christmas trading performance was underpinned by strong conversion, as customers responded positively to the re-ranging of favourite products and the launch of exciting new ranges.

“In addition, the improvements we have made to our hospitality offer, including to our Santa grottos, have been very well received by customers.”

Chair Andrew Bracey added: “Dobbies’ Christmas trading results are a credit to the hard work of Graeme and the team. With this critical trading period following closely after the acquisition and successful integration of six new centres, we are very pleased with the progress that has been made.”