Strong pre-Christmas spending helped push sales at the John Lewis Partnership to £234 million last week, a 9.4 per cent increase on last year’s trade.
Waitrose sales increased 8.7 per cent in the week ending December 11th whilst trade at department stores was at record levels and totalled £121 million, ten per cent up on 2009.
As customers started to celebrate the festive season, spending at Waitrose moved away from comfort food and towards alcohol and Christmas treats.
Rob Collins, Personnel Director at Waitrose, commented: “With most office parties taking place last week, it seems that customers were really getting into the festive mood as sales of mulled wine and mistletoe soared by 46 and 240 per cent respectively, with spirits on the rise, up 17 per cent.”
Other big sellers at the supermarket included party food desserts which sold 82 per cent more units than 2009, sales of festive wreaths which rose 65 per cent and the four-pig roast with trade up 156 per cent.
Ambient food was the best performing section with sales up 9.7 per cent, a change from the same period last year when chilled, fruit, vegetables & horticulture and bakery goods, up 8.8 per cent this year, were the best selling items.
Collins added: “A huge amount of hard work is going into achieving these impressive results from Partners right across our business. We look really well placed for our all important run into Christmas next week as a result.
“Thank you to one and all for the outstanding commitment that is being shown in every part of our business.”
At John Lewis department stores electricals & home technology items sold best with trade increasing 14.4 per cent, whilst johnlewis.com saw sales increase an impressive 45 per cent.