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Strong sales boost department store group Roys of Wroxham

PUBLISHED: 16:09 04 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:10 04 September 2017

Roys of Wroxham

Roys of Wroxham

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

Retailer Roys has hailed a strong 12 months amid a challenging market – and said it remains on the look-out to open new stores.

The group, which runs out of town department stores as well as a fuel supply and garden centre businesses, saw revenues fall slightly but improved its profits.

Directors declared themselves satisfied with the performance in the year to the end of January this year, and remarked upon the strong summer sales.

Roys increased pre-tax profits to £1.33m for the year to January 28, up from £1.09m for the previous year, according to accounts filed recently at Companies House.

Paul Roy, buying and marketing director, said: “Roys has traded well in a competitive retail environment, focusing on customer service and adapting to the changing needs of the customer.

“A buoyant local tourism market at the flagship stores in Hoveton supported the business during the year with good footfall in the summer months and the ‘shoulders’ of the season.

“The company places some of its success down to the strength of its local network of suppliers providing local communities with over 1,000 local products in store, probably more than any other supermarket in the UK.”

While major supermarket chains, such as Asda and Sainsbury’s, have been making job cuts and restructuring their businesses Roys has maintained a steady staff level, with 812 people employed on average over the year, down from 819 the year before. Overall full-time equivalent positions fell from 534 to 532.

In their strategic report the directors said they considered continued investment in technology and the layout of their stores to be integral going forward.

Last year the group invested more than £3m in solar panels for some its sites and to buy its warehouse.

Roys also made £39,270 of donations to charities off the back of the five pence carrier bag charge being introduced.

The family business was founded by brothers Arnold and Alfred Roy in 1895 in Coltishall and opened additional stores in Dereham and Hoveton St John, near Wroxham, by 1899, with the latter becoming their flagship site.

The business now has stores in Norwich, Bowthorpe, North Walsham, Thetford, Beccles and Sudbury.

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