Waitrose has reported that it ‘continued its six-year sales outperformance of the market over the Christmas period’.
For the five weeks ending January 3, total sales (excluding fuel) were £728 million – up by 7% on the equivalent period last year. Like-for-like sales increased by 2.8%.
The supermarket chain’s managing director Mark Price said: “This strong sales performance in a tough trading environment is a tribute to all our Partners [staff] who work so hard to give the high quality products and outstanding service that customers want all year round and especially at Christmas.
“As a business owned by the people who work here, we can take the long-term view and our Christmas results show the effectiveness of our strategy of investing in good value, in making our shops attractive destinations and in building our online business.”
Online sales also did well compared with the same period last year. Grocery sales through Waitrose.com grew by 26.3%, with wines, flowers and hampers showing a 39.9% increase.
Waitrose is continuing to build capacity in its online grocery business with the opening of a bespoke dot.com fulfilment centre in Coulsdon on March 3. It is proposing to close its existing fulfilment centre in Acton in the Spring. The new centre will have twice the capacity of Acton.
Waitrose has 334 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 59 convenience branches and another 29 shops at Welcome Break locations.