Sales at upmarket grocer Waitrose for the week to November 26th 2011 were up 5.2 per cent on last year as customers rushed to purchase festive goods, it was announced today.
While last year’s extreme snow affected footfall as shoppers stocked up on food to last through the bad weather, this autumn has been unusually warm resulting in summer foods continuing to perform well.
Sales of salads, soft fruit and exotic have increased by ten, 20 and per cent on 2010, while seafood saw a 14.5 per cent rise.
In spite of this, preparations for Christmas are well underway, as Heston’s mince pies have had their strongest week-on-week increase, up 40 per cent, while champagne sales have soared an incredible 109 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Cake cutters, inspired by Delia’s popular Christmas cake recipe, have jumped 9.4 per cent while foil sales have risen by nine per cent, perhaps indicating preparations for Christmas dinner.
Rupert Thomas, Marketing Director at Waitrose, explained that goods endorsed by celebrity chefs are proving immensely popular this Christmas.
“In response to customer demand for Heston’s Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding and the mini version made with a clementine, we’re working around the clock with our supplier to get more puddings on the shelves,” he commented.
“Deliveries will be received this week with further deliveries arriving at the end of next week.”
Over the Christmas period, advertising and promotions remain a key aspect of the supermarket chain’s strategy, and last week saw offers on party favourites and food such as smoked salmon, prawns, prosecco and other party food to entice shoppers to spend.