Christmas preparations have began in earnest for the festive season, sparking a 6.6% rise in sales (excluding petrol) for Waitrose in the week to November 16.
Waitrose commercial director Mark Williamson said; “A home-spun Christmas is in store this year, largely due to the huge impact of ‘The Great British Bake Off,’ as canny shoppers look to prepare for their celebrations early or give food gifts with a little more of the personal touch.
“Customers are gearing up to make their Christmas puddings on this weekend’s ‘Stir Up Sunday’. Sales of mincemeat are already up by 13% and caster sugar by 18%, while home baking nuts and cake decorations sales have both shot up by nearly 30%compared to this time last year.”
He added: “We are seeing record sales of sieves, preserving jars, cookie cutters and mixing bowls. which are up by more than 50%. Colanders, graters and jam thermometers’ sales are up by an incredible 56%. Sales of baking trays, muffin trays and loaf tins have also risen by more than 25% and kitchen tools, including pastry brushes, spatulas and wooden spoons, have increased by almost 20%.”
Investment in the upmarket grocery chain’s existing estate as well as new branches is also playing its part in continuing to achieve strong sales. This month has seen Waitrose complete nine refurbishments, its highest ever for a single month, as well as two major extensions. Two new stores are set to launch in Northwich and Wootton before the end of the month.