Total sales at upmarket grocer Waitrose rose 5.7 per cent for the week to December 3rd 2011 compared to the same period last year, as milder weather saw summer foods such as salads maintain their popularity.
Bagged and prepared salads saw sales increase by 19 and 28 per cent respectively, while oily and pre-packed fish performed strongly, up 19 and 48 per cent year-on-year.
During the equivalent week of 2010, shoppers rushed to purchase warmer foods in preparation for the heavy snow, and this year festive foods have proven similarly popular.
Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s range for the grocer remains successful and the new Heston from Waitrose Black Forest Buche went on sale last week, echoing the success of Heston’s Christmas puddings.
Last week, customers rushed to make preparations for the festive season, and sales of the retailer’s range of non-food Christmas products rose by 19 per cent as sales of crackers and decorations both jumped 24 per cent while Christmas wrap rose 30 per cent.
Tom Athron, Finance Director at Waitrose, said that Home & Leisure was the best performing category, as total sales rose 17.5 per cent on last year.
He added: “Finally, our new convenience shop in Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, opened last Wednesday to a very warm welcome from shoppers while our new branch in Bracknell, Berkshire, finished its first full week of trading with sales significantly exceeding our expectations.”