Christmas in the air at Waitrose

Waitrose shoppers are getting prepared for the festive season, with total divisional sales excluding petrol for last week (to November 14) up 4.7% on last year.

The grocery chain said this performance was due in part to a Christmas direct marketing campaign. Online sales were 26.1% higher than last year, following a promotion.

The festive feel was apparent with advent calendar sales up 11% on the same week last year and Christmas snacking seeing a 14% rise. Winter tipples fared well with imported whisky sales increasing 17.5% year-on-year, while vermouth and liqueurs sales rose 14.6% and 10.6% respectively.

Waitrose personnel director Helen Hyde said: “Foods high in protein had a good week, with chicken up 6.5%, pre-packed fish up 18% and cheese counters reporting an 8.6% increase. Fruit also performed well with frozen fruit up 33%, soft fruit up 9% and pears up 4%.

“And with the blustery weather taking hold in large parts of the country, winter warmers continued to be popular with sweet potato up a substantial 32% on the same week last year, soups up 7%, frozen pizza up 8% and pasta on the rise by 7%.”

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