Despite tough comparisons with strong marketing activity in the same week last year and the recent unseasonably warm weather, grocery chain Waitrose saw divisional sales (excluding petrol) increase by 2.7% last week (to November 1).
Waitrose personnel director Helen Hyde said: “The UK’s hottest Halloween on record certainly seemed to inspire the nation to embrace their darker side, with total Halloween sales up an incredible 41% on last year, making it the biggest seasonal occasion with our customers outside of Christmas. In addition to selling half a million pumpkins, we sold almost 40,000 magic wands this week.
“However, customers largely chose treats over tricks, as cakes and confectionery had a great week. Waitrose Scary Pumpkin Cupcakes sales increased by an impressive 100% on last year and Halloween confectionery sales were up 12%, while Haribo Trick or Treat Mini Mix Sales leapt up by 67% and Swizzels Trick or Sweets by 35%.
“Elsewhere, the Barbarians taking on Australia in Rugby Union at Twickenham and Sunday afternoon’s Manchester Derby followed by the US Grand Prix gave sports fans the perfect excuse to relax in front of the TV. Fresh pizza sales jumped by 33% and ready to cook dishes heated up by nearly 15%.”
This week will see Waitrose open a new store in Chester, following the opening of branches in Peterborough and West Hampstead last week.