Tricks, treats and tinsel for Waitrose

Total sales excluding fuel for Waitrose were 1% lower last week (to October 29) compared with last year.

The supermarket chain’s marketing director Rupert Thomas said shopping was driven by preparation for both ‘trick and treating’ and Christmas.

He noted: “Halloween fell in the equivalent trading week last year, but not this year. The 2015 figures were also supported by strong marketing activity. This meant comparatives were particularly challenging.”

Sales of Halloween flowers jumped by 117% this year. Rupert commented that the range, which included black-painted roses and glow-in-the dark flower arrangements, proved ‘incredibly popular as shoppers sought out more grown-up ways to decorate their homes’.

Customers were also getting ready for the festive season. Christmas food orders were up by 77%, including turkey orders – which were up 50% compared with the same week last year.

Elsewhere, the retailer’s ‘Fish Friday’ promotion (where customers who are members of the myWaitrose loyalty scheme receive 20% off service counter fish) helped sales leap by 75%.

Similarly, a Weekend Roast promotion (where members get 20% off roasting joints from the counter every Saturday and Sunday), increased sales by 100%. 

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