Upmarket grocer Waitrose saw sales increase by 11.2 per cent year-on-year last week, as part of its head office undergoes restructuring, it has been announced today.
Waitrose has also begun a review of its retail services division at head office, which offers support to the 280 Waitrose stores across the UK, in a bid to improve the retailer’s multichannel growth.
All of the 200 positions in the retail services division are under review and redundancies are possible, the grocer conceded, though none have been made yet as 40 positions have already been studied.
A spokesperson for Waitrose commented: “Our long-term plans require us to be adaptable so that we can continue to deliver growth and offer the best experience to our customers now and in the future.
“We began a phased review of our retail services division last year, to ensure the operation is organised in a way that reflects how our business has grown and to enable us to maintain the enormously important support that our partners provide to branches.
Adding that the partners had been involved in the reviewing process, the spokesperson concluded: “Some roles will change during this process and there will be opportunities for those affected by the review to be redeployed within the John Lewis Partnership.”
In the week to January 12th 2013, forecasts of bad weather prompted customers to stock up on essentials, with sales of canned soup and vegetables rising by more than 20 per cent.
Online shopping also enjoyed a surge in popularity, as sales at Waitrose.com were up almost 60 per cent on last year as customers chose to remain indoors and shelter from the cold.
Commenting that the retailer had had a “strong start” to 2013, Waitrose Marketing Director Rupert Thomas said: “An indicator of chilly temperatures almost as accurate as the falling mercury is the surge in demand for traditional store cupboard favourites.”