Waitrose recorded its biggest ever Easter Saturday sales this year, thanks largely to the warm weather that hit the UK over the bank holiday weekend.
In the grocer’s weekly sales update it was announced that trading was up 15 per cent on the same day last year, while overall Easter 2011 revenues increased 10.6 per cent compared to 2010.
Sales reached £120.58 million during the week to April 23rd, representing a 24.4 per cent year-on-year rise. The later Easter will have helped significantly with this positive comparison.
Mark Williamson, Commercial Director at Waitrose, said: “Alfresco dining saw sales of table stationery grow by 48 per cent on last year, with napkins up 100 per cent, table covers up 115 per cent and plastic champagne flutes up 150 per cent.
“Bunting and union flag serviettes and paper plates have all been flying off the shelves as shoppers prepare for royal wedding parties and festivities.”
Fellow John Lewis Partnership retailer, the department store group John Lewis, reported a 7.6 per cent year-on-year sales boost to £53.19 million for the same week.
Department stores in Cambridge, Leicester and Nottingham saw the best sales comparisons with last year, but there were still a significant percentage of outlets performing below the level achieved one year before.
Brent Cross trading was affected by the closure of the M1 motorway, falling 4.3 per cent, while Southampton had the worst annual sales dip of 8.1 per cent.
Like Waitrose, there were plenty of examples of the sunshine having a positive impact on certain lines.
Jonathon Brown, Head of Online Selling at John Lewis, said: “Sunglasses delivered a notable performance at +47 per cent on 2010, with great sales in both our own-brand and branded ranges and fashionable customers making the Ray Ban Aviator sunglasses particularly popular.”
Meanwhile Johnlewis.com delivered a strong performance during the week, with sales rising 33 per cent on the same week last year.