Upmarket grocer Waitrose today reported a strong week of trading for last week, with sales up 10.9 per cent year-on-year in the seven days to September 17th 2011.
Sales were boosted by autumnal weather, leading to an increase in comfort food as customers appeared to be opting to stay at home during cooler nights as seasonal programmes return to TV screens.
Indian and Italian ready meals were particularly strong performers, up 21 per cent and 23 per cent respectively, while pizza sales increased by 14 per cent.
Last week’s half-year results revealed that the retailer is in its third year of outperforming the market and these latest figures show that this trend is continuing.
Mid-month sales were less impressive for partner John Lewis, which experienced a quieter week as Back to School sales decreased, though the department store reported an increase in trading of 2.9 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Johnlewis.com witnessed a slower growth than has been the case for earlier in the month, though continued to battle ahead of competitors thanks to a 23.3 per cent increase in sales on 2010.
The highly-anticipated opening of Westfield Stratford City brought solid sales results for John Lewis, which has debuted a new in-store concept and layout at the east London centre.
The store hit the top ten ranking at the site for the first five days of trading, with electricals & home technology sales up 7.4 per cent on last year. Fashion also performed well, up three per cent as menswear proved popular among shoppers.
Nat Wakely, Director of Selling Operations (Region A) at John Lewis, was optimistic about the strong start.
“Overall, this was a great launch for our newest branch and an encouraging start for Team Stratford, with the prospects of our latest marketing TV advertising campaign to look forward to,” he commented.
While the opening had been expected to boost sales for both retailers considerably, it was Waitrose’s ‘Good to Go’ service, aimed at lunchtime food for busy workers, that saw a significant rise, up 18.7 per cent.
The newly opened Canary Wharf outlet had a particularly strong week in this area, reporting an increase of 25 per cent in ‘Good To Go’ products compared to the same seven-day period last year.
The grocer is also set to open its first ‘Little Waitrose’ on a Shell petrol forecourt in Watford this week, followed by another in Bayswater, offering fuel and forecourt services as well as a range of foods, further boosting its burgeoning convenience offering.