Shoppers make their houses sparkle in time for Christmas entertaining
Trading comments from Rob Collins, Waitrose Retail Director for week ending 7 December 2013
Total sales at Waitrose (excluding fuel) were up year on year by 0.8 per cent last week.
This week's figures are distorted by the earlier finish this year of our high profile 'Four Festive Shops' promotion*, which this time last year was still driving additional sales in our shops.
Over 3 million customers are benefitting from promotions and rewards when they use their myWaitrose card, and nearly two thirds of all sales go through with a card. The scheme gives shoppers an extra 10 per cent off 100's of key products, making a significant difference to big Christmas spends.
People expecting guests this Christmas have clearly been sprucing up their homes ready to impress, with particular attention being paid to the finer details.
Sales of window cleaning products were up 10 per cent, with metal polishes for cutlery up 18 per cent, carpet and rug cleaner sales up 15 per cent and quilted cashmere toilet roll, up 109 per cent. To create the perfect ambience, sales of scented candles rose 23 per cent with mulled wine the festive favourite.
As well as spending on things to make their houses sparkle, shoppers were even more savvy with their buying choices - balancing extravagant purchases with saving money in other areas.
More than 31.4 per cent of sales were on promotion, up 1.7 per cent compared to last year, with offers on luxury items doing particularly well. For example frozen lobster, currently a third off, is proving a dinner party must-have, up 10 per cent.
Sales of Christmas plants are blooming, with poinsettias and wreaths both up 50 per cent and berried stems up 46 per cent.
Our Heston from Waitrose Box of Chocolates is in hot demand as shoppers search for one of five tickets hidden inside that grant them a day with Heston himself. It has become the top selling box of chocolates in our branches.
Notes to editors
*Customers spending £50 four times during the qualifying period receive a £25 voucher in January. The promotion ran for six weeks until 1 December this year, and six weeks until 9 December last year.
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), johnlewis.com, 263 Waitrose supermarkets, 39 Waitrose convenience stores, waitrose.com 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, Waitrose.com*. 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. (www.waitrose.com)
*Kantar World panel
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