UK supermarket Waitrose recovered from a snow-slowed midweek to achieve a record Saturday last week, according to figures published today.
Sales increased by 4.7 per cent year-on-year in the week ending December 4th, compared to a 27.1 per cent growth in trade experienced last year.
Thick snow covered large parts of the country for much of the week but despite roads and other transport links being severely affected, Waitrose still managed to have its busiest Saturday in its history outside of Christmas week.
Tony Soloman, Retail Director at Waitrose, commented: “Despite the severe weather conditions last week, Waitrose ended the week in remarkable form with sales up 4.7 per cent on last year.
“Our performance is due to the heroic efforts of many Partners across the country, many of whom walked several miles through the snow to their branches and distribution centres, to ensure we could keep trading.”
Meat, fish, frozen & dairy was the best performing section with sales rising 9.5 per cent compared to 2009, and unsurprisingly warming foods proved a big hit with customers.
Service counter casserole beef sales grew by 60 per cent year-on-year and instant hot chocolate sales increased 78 per cent from last year.
Root vegetables and ingredients for roast dinners also flew off the shelves, with whole chicken sales up 163 per cent and small chicken sales rising a huge 275 per cent.
Soloman added: “Quick-fix meals such as beefburgers and speciality sausages were selling well, up 52 and 31 per cent, with accompaniments like frozen chips and potatoes up a fifth.
“Ready meals and pizza also had strong sales, as did custard which – as a quick and easy warmer – saw sales rise by 30 per cent.”