The ‘Nigella effect’ helped drive a divisional sales increase of 5.4% excluding petrol at Waitrose last week (to November 7).
Nigella Lawson’s new TV show, ‘Simply Nigella’, arrived on screens and her recipe for avocado on toast impacted sales of the fruit, which rocketed by 30%.
The grocery multiple’s Christmas advertising campaign launched too – set around moments that make the festive season special – and customers began preparing for Yuletide.
Boxes of Christmas cards were up by more than 14% on the same week last year, tree decorations lifted 18% and gift crates for assembling gift boxes and hampers jumped 230%. Supported by a half price promotion, mince pie sales rose by 24%, Christmas confectionery increased by 13% and sales of biscuit tins soared 453%.
The retailer’s Pick Your Own Offers scheme continued to grow in popularity and the week saw the number of myWaitrose customers now signed up nearing the million mark.
Elsewhere, wine sales were up by more than 18% on the same week last year, driven by a 25% off six wine offer. A 10% off all gin promotion increased sales by almost 54%, while vodka sales were up by more than 20% and rum sales up by 28%.
Organic meat sales had a ‘fantastic week’ too. Organic beef was up by 20%, chicken was up by more than 17%, pork was up by 7% and lamb was up by 36%. Organic fish and prawns sales were also up 25%.
Waitrose marketing director Rupert Thomas added: “The warmer temperatures for the time of year are still influencing sales, with salad sales still up 7% and ice cream sales up by 7%.”