Lancashire supermarket Booths vows to bounce back again

LESSON: Chris Dee, chief executive officer of Booths
LESSON: Chris Dee, chief executive officer of Booths
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Booths bosses have vowed to bounce back from poor financial results with a series of new initiati​ves to win over shoppers.

The Lancashire-based supermarket chain reported losses of £6.2m in its annual report recently.

We didn’t do a good enough job for our customers. That’s a lesson we have learned.

Its performance was severely hit by horrendous problems caused in 2015/16 by flooding, the high cost of opening new stores and a highly competitive food market.

But Booths chiefs have also admitted that they could do some things better – and are now looking to the future.

Customer service has particularly come under the microscope.

And chief executive officer Chris Dee admitted today that maybe customer service suffered last year while the company was dealing with its other major issues.

He said: “Maybe we took our eye off the ball while were coping with all the other stuff. We didn’t do a good enough job for our customers. That’s a lesson we have learned.

“We have made a lot of progress since last year in that regard and we are constantly listening to what our customers tell us.”

The Preston-headquartered family firm has almost 30 stores across the North West from Cumbria to Cheshire.

It occupies a Waitrose-like position at the high end of the market, and has such has come under pressure like all supermarkets from discount retailers.

Mr Dee said: “We want to be there for everyone.

“We want to attract people who want quality products and good customer service regardless of their levels of income.”

Mr Dee said last year was exceptional and conditions were a lot more stable this year.

He said the firm planned to focus more on its own brands .

Products such its own cheese range had proved incredibly popular and Booths planned more work on other lines.

The store chain is now gearing up for a busy Christmas, with its prestigious Great Northern Christmas book going out nationwide.

It attracts orders from Cornwall to Scotland and last year it sparked a sharp rise in demand for home delivery in London and the South of England.