Total sales - excluding petrol - were 5.8% higher than last year for last week (to November 29) at Waitrose, with key Christmas categories performing well.

Festive sales ‘start in earnest’ at Waitrose

Total sales – excluding petrol – were 5.8% higher than last year for last week (to November 29) at Waitrose, with key Christmas categories performing well.

Festive sales 'start in earnest' at Waitrose

The grocery multiple’s finance director Tom Athron said: “In a week when Christmas gift shopping started in earnest, our shops noted a definite turning point toward festive grocery trends. Early indications are that many people will be trading up to premium foods this Christmas, with Waitrose Entertaining reporting strong growth in luxury options.”

He cited examples such as the Heston from Waitrose turkey crown with brining kit, which is 43% ahead of last year; the double stuffed turkey breast joint (up 65%); butter-basted turkey with bacon lattice (up 58% ahead); luxury stuffing range (up 65%); beef joints (up 37%); and organic rack of pork (up 20%).

Christmas in the home is also starting to build, with strong sales of fresh British Christmas trees, and Christmas gifts and home decorations ranges up by 21%.

Christmas cake sales are currently up by 76% and panettone by 94%.Tom Athron added: “Our Heston from Waitrose ultimate chocolate bar dessert is far exceeding sales expectations. Our supplier has increased production to ensure we have enough to last until Christmas.”

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