Bosses at the East of England Co-operative has hailed a 6.7pc rise in sales in the week before Christmas compared to the previous year.

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Roger Grosvenor, executive officer – retail, said the society’s Sourced Locally range was a particular success totalling sales of £250,000 in a week for the first time – around a third up on a year earlier including turkeys and Christmas trees.

“We’ve had fantastic festive food sales, with our best week ever leading up to Christmas,” Mr Grovesnor said. “Our stores were especially busy on Christmas Eve, and we saw growth of 11.9pc on that day.

“We’ve seen a positive end to 2012, food sales for the last two weeks of the year were up just over 4pc, which is a great result in such a competitive market.

In the seven days before Christmas the society, which has more than 200 outlets in 70 towns and cities in the region, said it had sold 37,000 mince pies; 3,500 frehs turkeys; 13,000 packets of sprouts; and 7,400 packets of batteries.

“Our positive sales figures show that we can compete with the major multiples, while keeping to our values of being ethical, responsible and community focused,” Mr Grovesnor added.

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