Healthy sales at Waitrose in the week leading up to January 1st were inevitably driven by demand for party food and Champagne.
Lighter food such as prepared vegetables, which saw sales rise 25 per cent on last year, were also popular, while side salads flew off the shelves at a 65 per cent higher rate than the same week in 2009.
The up-market grocer announced today that sales during the seven-day period totalled £79.7 million, which was down 10.6 per cent year-on-year reflecting the extra day’s trading 12 months before.
Tom Athron, Finance Director at Waitrose, said: “While the resulting drop in weekly sales was exactly what we expected, partners may be interested to know that comparisons based on the five days our shops did open (compared with the same five days last year) show a healthy uplift.
“Sales for these days were up by 9.7 per cent and 5.9 per cent on a like-for-like basis.”
Waitrose’s sister retailer John Lewis had a record week in a number of ways, with the department store’s clearance line drawing in crowds of shoppers.
Nat Wakely, Director of Selling Operations at John Lewis, said: “The first day of clearance was a truly amazing milestone with Bluewater, Kingston, Solihull, Cambridge, Peterborough, Aberdeen and Norwich setting records.
“Furthermore, Oxford Street and Peter Jones both set records for the first day of clearance, and we smashed our previous record day as a business by a country mile.”
Last week John Lewis revealed that Monday December 27th brought in sales worth £27.8 million, which was an increase of 54 per cent year-on-year and more than 30 per cent higher than the company’s previous biggest ever day.