Total divisional sales at Waitrose, excluding fuel, were in line with last year at +0.0% last week (to November 19).
The supermarket multiple’s supply chain director Wim Van Aalst said customers are beginning to prepare for Christmas, with promotions driving sales of crackers, Christmas puddings and seasonal biscuit tins.
Turkey and frozen party food sales were also up 15% and 28% respectively, as shoppers begin to pick up festive food essentials.
Strong Christmas homeware sales (up 30%) helped drive Home & General Merchandise, with the category seeing growth of 12%.
Merchandise themed on Waitrose’s Christmas advert “performed particularly well”, with best sellers including the shopping bag, tea towel and ‘Coming Home’: a £5 illustrated children’s book by Michael Morpurgo, which tells the story of the robin featured in the retailer’s new campaign.
Waitrose will be giving a copy of the book to each of the 30,000 primary schools in the UK and donating 50p of each copy sold to Crisis, the national charity for homeless people. Michael Morpurgo has donated his entire fee for the book to Farms for City Children: a charity which aims to provide experience of farm and countryside life for inner city children.
Elsewhere, Waitrose own-label bin liners have relaunched and are now made from 100% recycled plastic. This will reduce the carbon footprint of the liners by 50%, and will save 695 tonnes of raw materials a year.
Waitrose Christmas Juco Robin Junior Bag