Staycationers’ shopping habits at Central England Co-op’s seaside stores revealed  

New research by Central England Co-op has revealed what this year’s staycationers are writing on their shopping lists when they visit the Norfolk and Suffolk coastlines.

The retailer released new data that shows some interesting changes to customers’ buying habits compared to the same time last year*.

Four stores situated on the Norfolk and Suffolk coastlines at Cromer, Kirkley, Pakefield and Wells-next-the-sea showed that overall sales were up almost a fifth (17%) compared to the 2019 summer holiday period.

It’s been a surprisingly hot summer, and in addition to the expected uplift in cold drinks, sandwiches, snacks and ice creams this year, six times the number of Co-op Ice Packs sold compared to last year.

Alcohol sales were up too, with the desire for white wines reflected in a 30% overall rise in sales. Own-brand options were even more popular with 16% more bottles of Co-op Vdt Pinot Grigio 75cl and 14% more Co-op Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 75cl going into baskets.

Cider was another go-to tipple with Co-op Dry Cider (4 x 400ml) selling more than twice as much as last summer and 500ml bottles of Co-op Tillington Hills Dry Cider up 88%.

People after a relatively sober staycation contributed to a 65% growth in low alcohol choices. Co-op Low Alcohol Garnacha Rose 75cl sold nearly eight times more bottles than last year.

On the food front, extra flavour has been the key to summer self-catering with sales of herbs and spices up 46% and family’s sharing tasty, sociable meals such as fajitas with sales of Co-op Plain Tortillas up 24% and Co-op Mild Salsa increasing by 62%.

Holidaymakers who may have forgotten to pack toiletries or chose to wait until they reached their destination to pick them up in store may have accounted for a 44% growth in sales with current necessities such as antibacterial soap seeing greater popularity and a rise in more indulgent products such as Co-op Relaxing Sleep Bath 500ml, which saw sales up by a third.

The summer is always the busiest time in Central England Co-op’s coastal stores and with more people than ever holidaying in the UK this year, they have made extra efforts to meet the increased demand.

The stores at Pakefield and Wells-next-the-sea received makeovers of £322,000 and £250,000 last year to provide an improved shopping experience and have been delighted to receive even more UK holidaymakers this year which include welcoming facilities such as a purpose-built infant feeding/baby changing area at Wells-next-the-sea.

Customers can visit the Central England Co-op stores at:

  • Middlebrook Way, Cromer
  • London Road South, Kirkley
  • Jubilee Buildings, Pakefield
  • Polka Road, Wells-next-the-sea

Keep up-to-date with the latest food and drink offers during the summer by visiting


Notes to editors


*Figures cover the period 19 July to 15 August 2020 vs the same period in 2019


Picture captions – 1. Central England Co-op Wells-next-the-Sea colleagues are on hand to meet the increased demands of UK holidaymakers during summer 2020 2. The beers, wines and spirits section at Pakefield, one of four Central England Co-op stores on the east coast which saw increased demand during summer 2020.


About Central England Co-operative


Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.


Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish.  


Our 7,900 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 


We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.


We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.


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Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


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