Total divisional sales for Waitrose last week to May 2 (excluding petrol) were up by 0.5% on last year. Last week also concluded the quarter, which saw divisional sales growth (excluding petrol) of 0.8%.
The grocery multiple’s retail director Rob Collins said: “As customers geared up for the bank holiday weekend, it was clear that they were hoping to spend the long weekend outdoors. Shoppers were ready to fire up the barbecue, with sales of speciality sausages up 11% and barbecue tools and accessories up 68%. Alfresco dining and picnics were also on the agenda, with sales of prepared salads and vegetables increasing by 5% and 6% respectively on the year before.”
Shoppers were looking forward to hosting friends and family throughout the bank holiday, with the Waitrose Entertaining range up 26% year-on-year. He added: “Customers were clearly in the mood to celebrate the extra day off and perhaps the arrival of a new Princess. Sales of Waitrose’s relaunched range of celebration cakes were up 9% while Champagne sales on Waitrose’s specialist wine website WaitroseCellar.com were up 43% on last year.
“The start of the Tour de Yorkshire also influenced shopping habits, with French food and wine flying off the shelves. President Brie and Camembert were up by 40% on the previous year while patisserie sales rose by 24%. Sales of wines from the French region of Bordeaux were also up 40%.”