New Year celebrations and healthy resolutions – supported by half-price promotions – delivered a strong first week of sales in 2015 (to January 3) for Waitrose, with divisional sales (excluding petrol) increasing by 9%.
Champagne and sparkling wine sales fizzed, rising by 14% and 30% respectively, while wine sales increased by 15%. English sparkling wine was the toast of the week though, with sales increasing by 121% on last year.The festive spirit remained throughout the week with sales growth in every single spirit category. Overall spirit sales were up almost 15%; gin was up by more than 24%, rums were up by more than 20%, malt whisky was up by 20%, vermouth by 34% and ginger wines by more than 39%.
To support this celebratory mood, the supermarket chain we saw a 13% increase in sales of party poppers and a 52% uplift in disposable partyware, including plastic Champagne glasses and tumblers which were up by 121%.
Waitrose marketing director Rupert Thomas said: “As guests and partygoers dispersed following the last of the festivities, convenient comfort food became the order of the day. Fresh ready meal sales increased by 11%, including our range of Indian meals which saw a 27% rise in sales, while both dessert and ice cream sales were up by more than 13%. It was also our biggest ever week for fresh pizza sales, which were up 9% compared to the same week last year. It was then a case of operation clean up for many households. Laundry liquids and fabric conditioners were up by 123% and 250% respectively. Dishwasher tablet sales were up by 31% and washing up liquid sales shone, increasing by 18%.
“New Year-inspired resolutions have already impacted sales, too. Our Love life calorie-controlled range saw sales jump by 40%, pre-packed fish sales leapt by 25% and sales of frozen yogurt and low-calorie ice creams increased by 45%.”