Scotmid delivers ‘strong’ pandemic performance

John Brodie

Scotmid Co-op Society has reported a £6.4m trading profit for the 53 weeks ended 30 January 2021, compared to £5.6m for the year before.

Turnover for the year was £409m, a year-on-year increase of £24m.

John Brodie (pictured), Chief Executive of Scotmid Co-op said: “Changes in consumer behaviour during the pandemic resulted in an increase in local essential shopping in Scotmid’s food convenience stores. Customers visited less frequently, spent more each visit but the costs of operation were significantly more than usual. I was heartened by the overwhelming appreciation we received from our communities for Scotmid’s front-line colleagues and support teams who continued to serve our communities through the peak of the crisis.”

However, like many other non-food retailers, Scotmid’s Semichem business was negatively impacted by the pandemic due to low footfall on high streets and a long period of closure in the first wave.

Scotmid Funerals conducted more funerals but at a reduced income per funeral due to safety and social distancing restrictions, while the Society’s property portfolio was hit by a reduction in rental income during the crisis due to the support provided to its tenants and a number of defaults.

The Society helped hundreds of local community groups and larger charities to alleviate hardship through a Covid Community Fund. A free home delivery service to those shielding was made available with its charity partner Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland and a range of larger projects were supported with a focus on areas such as homelessness, food banks and mental health.

Brodie added: “I am very proud and thankful to the colleagues across all parts of the business that have gone above and beyond during the crisis. They have clearly demonstrated our core purpose in such difficult circumstances.

“Financially, it was a tougher second half to the year with the cost burden increasing but with the benefit of our diverse set of businesses, backed up by government support, we have successfully co-operated together across all levels in the Society to deliver a strong year-end result.”