Total sales excluding petrol were 6.8% up in the week to November 9 for Waitrose, as shoppers' attention turned towards Christmas.

Christmas shopping patterns start to show at Waitrose

Total sales excluding petrol were 6.8% up in the week to November 9 for Waitrose, as shoppers’ attention turned towards Christmas.

The upmarket grocery chain said popular purchases included straw-filled crates for customers to ‘make your own’ gift. The wooden crates – available in two sizes – are ready to be filled with anything from gift food and drink to luxury toiletries.

Sales of other ranges also showed shoppers have turned a corner in their seasonal preparations. Its range of Christmas cards, wrapping paper and crackers was up by a massive 300% last week, with customers taking advantage of special offers to stock up early for the big day.

Many have also been spreading the cost of Christmas food, with sales of stollen up by 51% and panettone up by 108%. Also supporting this trend are sales of ranges such as Christmas confectionery and Christmas biscuits – up 20% and 24% respectively this season so far.

And organised shoppers are stocking up on Christmas presents. The best-selling gift so far is a retro biscuit tin in the shape of an old-fashioned radio.

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