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Roys says 2009 is a year for growth

PUBLISHED: 09:43 31 December 2008 | UPDATED: 14:53 07 July 2010

Roys of Wroxham - which has a store in Dereham - says it is expecting to grow its business and says it is there is the possibility of new branches opening in the new year.

Roys of Wroxham - which has a store in Dereham - says it is expecting to grow its business and says it is there is the possibility of new branches opening in the new year.

Buying director Paul Roy said food and drink sales in particular had soared recently, with the company's growth berating that recorded by the major supermarkets.

And although there has been a fall in home-related sales thanks to the high-street squeeze, Mr Roy said the business was “hardly exposed” to that market.

Roys, which employs 825 people across its seven stores, has seen its overall market share grow 0.3pc over the past 12 weeks, while its food and drink sales have grown by 7.2pc over the same period against an industry average of 4.2pc.

The growth was recorded despite the fact that Roys - unlike many of its competitors - said it had had not been forced to resort to a pre-Christmas sale. Its discount prices did not kick in until the usual start date of December 27.

Mr Roy said the growth in food sales at the stores had come about primarily because of price, and the company's relationship with local suppliers meant produce was both fresher and cheaper.

“We benchmarked quality and price on fresh foods and aimed to bring in local products to consistently beat the competition on both,” he said.

“We also negotiated better one-off deals from national grocery suppliers that are struggling to shift stocks. We are now on average lower priced on the top 200 lines by volume than our nearest rivals and we have beaten them on quality with our fresh foods 60pc of the time, matching them 30pc of the time, according to Brix measurements.”

Mr Roy said closing-down sales and one-off promotional days run by competitors had seen some short-term effects on the business, but he said they were temporary drops that had “tended to rebound afterwards”.

He added: “We hope to grow our business organically next year, but if offers for freehold sites come up at realistic prices we'll certainly look at them.”

The company recorded turnover of £52m in the year to January 2008. It has stores in Dereham, North Walsham, Norwich (two), Sudbury and Thetford, as well as in Hoveton.

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