The preparation for Halloween and half-term school holidays drove divisional sales – excluding petrol – up by 3.9% for Waitrose last week (to October 18).
The grocery chain said shoppers were gearing up ‘earlier than ever’ for Halloween with sales of seasonal decorations and confectionery up 40% and 10% year-on-year respectively. Sales of apples also rose as people got ready to play traditional Halloween games such as bobbing for apples, up 10% compared with last year.
As the weather turned more autumnal, comforting prepared meals also proved popular, with sales of Indian ready meals lifting by 20% while ‘Ready to Cook’ climbed 40%. Pizza also saw positive sales uplifts, up 14.5% compared with last year.
Waitrose commercial director Mark Williamson said: “Perhaps in anticipation of guests visiting during the half-term school holidays, shoppers made cleaning a priority, with sales of washing up liquid up 33%. Soap also saw an increase in sales, up 23% compared with last year. Days out are also on the cards for half-term as shoppers bought for packed lunches. Sales of prepared fruit increased by 27%, while pre-packed cheese and low fat crisps increased by 4.5% and 7% respectively.”
Last week also saw Waitrose’s newly redeveloped branch in Dorking open and the launch of its first Click & Collect lockers on the transport network.