Waitrose is celebrating its most successful Christmas on record, as recently released figures reveal a 7.7 per cent increase in total branch sales for the festive period.
Like-for-like sales for the period from Sunday November 4th to Monday December 24th were up 4.3 per cent on the equivalent period last year, and customer number increased by 4.5 per cent in the same period.
In addition, the number of items purchased rose by 5.9 per cent, which the retailer claims is a result of the May extension of its Brand Price Match scheme, and online grocery sales through Waitrose.com increased vy 37 per cent.
Commenting on the figures, Mark Price, Waitrose Managing Director, said: “The key to our growth this Christmas has been a combination of great value and inspiring, innovative products.
“This has led to increased volumes driving our sales uplift as more people shopped with us and existing customers bought additional items.”
Two of the best selling food products during the festive period were the Heston from Waitrose Hidden Sauce Figgy Pudding and the Heston from Waitrose Christmas Chocolate Cake.
In the festive gifts category, a book entitled How Rude, Modern Manners Defined, published for the 75th anniversary of Waitrose’s inclusion in the John Lewis Partnership, was one of the best selling items.
December 23rd is usually the busiest food shopping day of the year, and the fact that it fell on a Sunday this year will have contributed to it being the busiest Sunday in Waitrose history.
The seven days before Christmas saw particularly strong trade, with sales on Saturday December 22nd almost matching last years sales totals for December 23rd.
Mr Price commented: “Customers have been particularly savvy in their shopping patterns – with strong promotions on confectionery and bakery items more than a month before Christmas motivating them to get ahead of the game.
“Trade in the seven days before Christmas was remarkable, with December 23rd proving our busiest Sunday on record.”