Expansion plan for supermarket

Edwin Booth at the opening of his firm's branch at MediaCity on Salford Quays
Edwin Booth at the opening of his firm's branch at MediaCity on Salford Quays
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Supermarket boss Edwin Booth has said it will take a “prudent” approach to developing new stores.

The chairman of the family-owned chain said it would only expand its portfolio as it saw an improvement in its trading conditions.

On Wednesday, Booths reported a fall in profits due to a squeeze in spending at the tills despite opening two new stores at MediaCity in Salford and Penrith, Cumbria in the past 12 months.

It is due to open its third store of the year and the 29th in its chain at Milnthorpe, on the Lancashire-Cumbria border, later this month.

Mr Booth, the fifth generation of the family to run the business, said: “There are many new development opportunities available to us but we are being prudent in bringing these forward at a rate that bears due relationship to our trading performance.

“There are many factors outside our direct control which we are monitoring from day to day and which are already having a material impact on consumer behaviour.

“Booths, however, will become an increasingly attractive place to shop over the next year and will be further differentiated from those with whom we compete in addition to ensuring our pricing remains competitive.”

The chain reported profits down £2.2m to £5.9m in the 12 months to March this year despite its two new stores adding £273m of sales.

Mr Booth said nearly a quarter (24%) of stock on its shelves was now discounted with “the majority” of customers’ regular shop being bought on offer.

He added it was “impossible to determine with reasonable accuracy” the impact of economic changes to the business, but vowed to continue its hard work.

The chairman said: “We are getting our heads down to developing an increasingly efficient Booths and one which will remain attractive to customers.”