Supermarket chain Waitrose saw sales increase by 8.2 per cent last week year-on-year while sales for its third quarter were up by 10.1 per cent, it was announced today.
Sales for the third quarter ending October 30th 2011 “continued to outshine the industry”, according to the grocer’s Retail Director Tony Solomons.
During the period, the chain continued to eye property growth and opened five core branches, three convenience shops – beginning with a Little Waitrose trial on two Shell forecourts – and unveiled major refurbishments at its Canary Wharf and Sevenoaks branches, while Jesmond was the latest convenience store to open last week.
The retailer also launched a value campaign in the quarter as well as Try Me and myWaitrose cards initiatives, as it sought to compete with others in a price war initiated by Tesco in September.
Online sales continue to grow, boosted by the opening of a Dotcom Fulfilment Centre in Acton in October and last week alone saw total Waitrose.com orders increase by 50 per cent on the same time last year.
Last week, customers flocked to purchase seasonal items for Bonfire night, as sales of sausages rose 11.4 per cent and burgers were up 16 per cent, while essential Waitrose burgers sales grew a stunning 226 per cent.
Heston’s spiced mulled cider also proved popular, with sales of cider up 40 per cent on last year.
Despite the difficult economic conditions Solomons is positive about the months ahead with the chain turning its focus on the busy Christmas period.
“Looking ahead to the final quarter, we’re gearing up for Christmas with a fantastic range of products and a strong marketing campaign.
“Last week we unveiled our new Christmas TV advert which has received a phenomenal response from our customers on Twitter.”
Customers are now focusing on Christmas food, with snacks and confectionery last week up by 25 per cent on last year and Christmas gifts and speciality gammons up by 59 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.
It is hoped that the advertising campaign, which features celebrity chefs Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal, will continue to drive sales through December.