Waitrose sales (excluding petrol) in the week to November 30 were up by 4.7% on last year. Waitrose.com also performed well with online sales up by 34%.
All Christmas meat and accompaniment orders (including website, phone and branch orders) were up 16% against this time last year with customers ordering turkeys and other seasonal meats in good time (the last day for Christmas orders from the supermarket chain is December 15 and December 21 for New Year orders).
While turkey still holds the crown as the nation’s favourite for the Christmas table (turkey crown sales last week were up by 14%), other meats have also grown in favour. Beef is the most popular alternative, as nearly a quarter (23%) of Waitrose shoppers have said they will try beef for a change this Christmas. Seasonal meats, such as gammons and hams, also traded strongly with orders up by 133%.
Shoppers are not just concentrating on centre pieces for their festive feasts, as orders for accompaniments such as sausage meat were up 16%.
Also heralding the start of the festive season was the arrival for the first time of Christmas trees in 180 Waitrose branches last week. Sales are already well above expectations, as customers spruce up their homes with British-grown foliage.