Upmarket grocer Waitrose has enjoyed another successful trading week after a record-breaking Christmas, it was announced today.
In the week ending January 5th 2013, total sales excluding petrol were up 19.7 per cent year-on-year, reaching a total of £107.4 million.
Commenting on the results, Mark Williamson, Waitrose’s Commercial Director, said: “Although boosted by New Year’s Eve falling into a different trading week, we still had a storming start to the year with sales up as the UK was again in a celebratory mood.”
Waitrose reported last week that Christmas 2012 had been its most successful on record, with a 7.7 per cent increase in total branch sales for the eight weeks to December 24th.
Other retailers have been releasing their Christmas trading updates this week, and reports emerged yesterday of a dispute between supermarkets Sainsbury’s and Tesco.
After Tesco reported a 1.8 increase in UK like-for-like (LFL) sales, its strongest growth rate for three years, an email sent by Sainsbury’s to analysts called this figure “disingenuous” as it included sales made using the supermarket’s Clubcard loyalty vouchers.
Meanwhile, Morrisons saw a 2.5 per cent drop in LFLs as the Bradford-based grocer faced a “challenging” Christmas, suffering due to weakness in its multichannel offering.
As it moves into 2013, Waitrose predicts success from its new range of Love life kitchen gadgets, which will aid consumers in their New Year diets by helping them to judge portion sizes.
But for the last week, it was an attitude of indulgence which boosted sales as Waitrose Entertaining orders went up 157 per cent, sales of frozen desserts increased by 82 per cent and champagne sales generated more than £1 million.
Williamson commented: “It was a challenging 2012 for many, but the feel good factor that swept the nation during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 Games was undoubtedly captured again.”