Waitrose weekly sales figures excluding petrol for last week (to June 1) were down 4.5% to £115.52m, distorted by the comparison with the run-up to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend, which fell during the equivalent trading week last year.
“Last year’s double bank holiday weekend resulted in one of our busiest trading weeks on record outside of Christmas and Easter, as the nation geared up for festivities and street parties,” said Waitrose supply chain director David Jones.
He noted that last week saw a mix of cold and warm weather eating trends last week. “A cooler start to the week saw shoppers stocking up on wintry food and drink; the emergence of weather more fitting for British summer time at the end of the week saw shoppers preparing for barbecues with strong sales of barbecue meats, sausages and charcoal,” he said.
He added that Waitrose’ latest TV advert, The Story of the Wondrous Watercress, has seen sales of British watercress rise by 300%. The ad features a recipe for a seasonal dish of grilled salmon with watercress, which has led to other key ingredients being snapped including Wild Alaskan Sockeye salmon fillets which rose by 38% and crème fraiche by 221%.