Workers and shoppers to get share of £18m profits from Lincolnshire Co-operative
Thousands of shoppers will share a £4 million payout by a county business.
Lincolnshire Co-operative members will each receive a slice of the money through the company's dividend scheme.
In addition, employees will be given almost a week's pay on top of their usual salary.
The pay-out comes after the Co-op's annual results revealed this year's profit, after member benefits, was £18.1m and sales totaled £283m.
This matches last year's sales performance once those generated by Holland Brothers Jaguar are accounted for.
The car dealership, based in Lincoln's Outer Circle Road, was taken over by Marshall Motor Group earlier this year.
During the year, the society's 74 food stores saw sales grow by 3.7 per cent.
Local goods were still in demand with sales of products sourced from the trading area, such as Jenny's Jams, made in Lincoln, growing by 8 per cent. Gadsby's, the Society's own bakers based in Southwell, saw a sales growth of 4.5 per cent.
Elsewhere in the business, travel branches, such as the outlets in Tritton Road and the Carlton Centre, saw sales shoot up by more than 11 per cent.
And more people are using the society's 47 pharmacies with prescription numbers rising to 4.6 million.
Members collect dividend points on their cards during the year and then, from Saturday December 1, receive a dividend bonus.
Members have approved a dividend bonus of 75p per £1 of points collected during the year.
The society also shares its profits with members through community grants and donations.
In 2011/12, £104,516 of donations were given to 1,256 groups including £2,000 to the Lincolnshire Emergency Blood Bikes Service to buy a motorcycle and £1,000 to the Royal Lincolnshire Regimental Association towards interpretation panels at a new memorial at the Sobraon Barracks.
The business has also invested in new and improved services.
This year, £20m has been invested in capital projects like the transformation of the filling station on Riseholme Road in Lincoln, a new foodstore in Skirbeck Road, Boston, a new combined foodstore and post office at Scotter and a new post office in Rookery Lane, Lincoln.
Lincolnshire Co-op employs around 2,800 local people.
As well as the members' dividend bonus, eligible staff will receive a bonus of 85 per cent of a weekly wage, which they can spend in store.
Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Co-op, Ursula Lidbetter, said: "The impact of the worldwide recession is being felt by our members and customers.
"It's noticeable in a number of ways. Shoppers are really being careful about how they spend their money, reducing the amount they use their cars for example, trying not to buy food they'll waste and deciding not to invest in big ticket items.
"Despite this, and the scaling down of our wholesale pharmacy business, we've almost matched last year's sales.
"It's because even if people are being careful, they're still prepared to spend when they spot a good deal, get great customer service or save up for a particular treat.
"Our sales bear this out. In Travel, they've risen thanks to the efforts of our staff who make sure people's savings are put towards a break that's perfect for them.
"In Food, we've got lots for customers who are seeking value.
"One of our greatest achievements in this climate is that, as a co-op, it's not just about the bottom line. We're still supporting our local communities."