Press releases

Beef firmly on the festive menu as Christmas sales gather momentum

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Trading comments from David Jones, Waitrose Supply Chain Director for week ending 30 November 2013

With the festive season now upon us, preparations are well underway, with sales (excluding petrol) last week up by 4.9 per cent on last year. also performed well with online sales up by 34 per cent.

All Christmas meat and accompaniment orders (including website, phone and branch orders) are up 16 per cent compared to this time last year with customers ordering turkey and other seasonal meats in good time (the last day for Christmas orders is 15 December and 21 December for New Year food orders).

While turkey still holds the crown as the nation's favourite for the Christmas table (turkey crown sales up this week by 14 per cent), other meats have also grown in favour. Overall pre packed beef sales rose by 9 per cent this week with orders up 49 per cent. Top beef sellers included bone in shin, sales of which increased by 233 per cent.

In fact, beef is the most popular alternative to turkey, as nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of Waitrose shoppers* have said they will try beef for a change this Christmas.

Seasonal meats, such as gammons and hams are also trading strongly, with orders up by 133 per cent.

Shoppers are not just concentrating on centre pieces for their festive feasts, as orders for accompaniments such as sausage meat are up 16 per cent.

Also heralding the start of the festive season was the arrival of Christmas trees in 180 Waitrose branches this week. This is the first year that Waitrose will sell Christmas trees, and sales are already well above expectations, as customers spruce up their home with British-grown festive foliage.

The pot grown Nordman Fir Christmas Trees or 'ecotrees' are sustainable, which means they can survive the festive season and then be grown in pots or the ground after Christmas, and used again. All the trees are sourced from the picturesque Black Isle, north of Inverness in Scotland.

Notes to editors

* Waitrose insights data, November 2013.

The John Lewis Partnership - The John Lewis Partnership operates 40 John Lewis shops across the UK (30 department stores and 10 John Lewis at home),, 263 Waitrose supermarkets, 39 Waitrose convenience stores, and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad.  The business has annual gross sales of over £9.5bn.  It is the UK's largest example of worker co-ownership where all 85,500 staff are Partners in the business.

Waitrose - Waitrose, Britain's favourite supermarket*, has 302 shops in the UK and Channel Islands and is consistently achieving sales growth significantly ahead of the market both in its branches and its online grocery service,*. Its strong performance has been driven by the success of the essential Waitrose range, Brand Price Match, an unmatchable top tier of products and free delivery for online shopping and its popular myWaitrose card, as well as a long term commitment to sourcing the UK's finest local and regional foods. Waitrose combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose is the holder of the Good Housekeeping Favourite Supermarket award, was Best Food and Grocery Retailer in Verdict's Consumer Satisfaction Awards and gained the title of Best Supermarket in the Which? supermarket satisfaction survey. (
*Kantar World panel

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Jo Maish
Corporate Press Assistant, Waitrose
Telephone: 01344 825586
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