Total sales at Waitrose last week (to October 22) excluding fuel were 1% lower than last year.
The supermarket chain’s finance director Loraine Woodhouse said the results were “impacted by tough comparatives as a result of strong marketing during the equivalent week last year”.
Prepared fruit and vegetables proved popular (“as shoppers increased their vitamin intake during ‘cold season’”), while sales of stir fries and prepared fruit were up 21% and 18% respectively.
With Halloween just around the corner on October 31, sales of spooky decorations increased by 12%. This year, Waitrose has introduced ‘ghost’ pumpkins, a white version of the squash, which contributed to particularly strong sales of the pumpkin range.
Shoppers were also preparing for Christmas well in advance as sales of festive nuts rose by 37% and advance turkey orders were up 48% on last year.