Total divisional sales (excluding petrol) were up by 1.1% last week for Waitrose, ‘despite very tough comparatives against the equivalent week last year, in which sales were boosted by major promotional activities’.
The upmarket grocery chain’s retail director Rob Collins said: “As customers gear up for Valentine’s Day this weekend, staggering sales of chocolate proved that nothing expresses the language of love better than indulgence. Valentine’s Chocolate Heart sales jumped up by 64% on last year and premium boxed chocolates proved another popular choice, up 27%. Valentine’s Day sweets and treats also did well, increasing by 26%.”
He added: “Loved ones looking to make a toast to their other halves turned to fizz: sales of Champagne shot up by 51% and sparkling wine sales topped 18%. Charbonnel et Walker Champagne truffles had a fantastic week, up 500% year on year.” In addition, confectionery sales also leapt up 12% and desserts continued to sell well, up 11%.”
Ron Collins also noted that following the cold snap last week, film fans appeared to be preparing for a night in enjoying the BAFTAs, driving sales of comfort foods. As a result, sales of ready meals soared: Charlie Bigham’s dishes were up 71% and Indian and Italian ready meals were up 15% and 16%, respectively. And with coughs and colds still prevalent, shoppers stocked up on healthcare products which saw a 9% increase in sales, and soup also had a good week, up 11%.