Preparing for Christmas dinner was at the forefront of Waitrose shoppers’ minds last week (to December 5), with turkey orders up 4.6% ahead of last year.
Total divisional sales excluding petrol were 0.4% higher than last year for the grocery chain, with promotional activity and cooler weather featuring in the comparison week in 2014.
The turkey breast crown with figgy pudding stuffing was up 34% year-on-year, while the easy-carve turkey with a duck and ginger stuffing was up 73%. Venison also had a good week, with sales increasing by 6% on the year, while gammon rose by 14.7%.
Waitrose added that the premium feel to Christmas continued with the launch of two new caviar products backed by promotional activity delivering ‘encouraging sales’.
Mark Williamson, commercial director of Waitrose, said: “This year, Waitrose has increased its range of garlands, trees and blooms for Christmas and customers have begun decking their halls in earnest. Christmas flower sales were up by 45% year-on-year and Christmas trees up by 4.5% on last year. Sales of poinsettias rose by 87% week-on-week as customers entered into the festive spirit.”
He continued: “This same spirit was also evident in strong sales of the Christmas edition of the ‘Radio Times’ increasing by 47% year-on-year. Meanwhile, interest in advent calendars remained strong with sales increasing by 5.9% on last year, and Christmas confectionery fared well at 4.3% up on last year.
“Customers have started stocking up with celebratory tipples, with sparkling wine up 5% on the year. Gin sales were also worth celebrating, up 16% year-on-year and delivering their best week of the year to date.”
Waitrose Turkey Parcel with pork, gingerbread and apricot stuffing