Total divisional sales last week (to July 19), excluding petrol, were up 1.8% at the supermarket chain compared with last year, when a high level of promotional activity and a heatwave during the same week last year spurred double digit growth, ensuring the comparatives continue to be tough.

Weather keeps Waitrose guessing

Total divisional sales last week (to July 19), excluding petrol, were up 1.8% at the supermarket chain compared with last year, when a high level of promotional activity and a heatwave during the same week last year spurred double digit growth, ensuring the comparatives continue to be tough.

Weather keeps Waitrose guessing

Waitrose marketing director Rupert Thomas said: “This week may have felt muggy but last year it was in fact warmer and drier. As a result we’ve seen sales trends that we’re more used to in the colder months. Yorkshire puddings for instance, normally reserved for Sunday roasts, were up by 100%, while roasting beef, on promotion, was up 420% compared with last year and vegetables were up 7%.”

On the other hand, packet soups and fresh soup were up by 55% and 20% respectively. Teas and coffees also enjoyed a surprise summer surge as demand for hot beverages rose 35%. Dark spirits, like whisky, saw a 20% jump in the relatively cooler weather.

Another aspect of British summer weather – its changeability – also led to a sales spike. As the rain came down, the brollies went up – leading to umbrella sales surging 400%.

With new research showing that 70% of teachers commonly receive alcohol as an end-of-year gift from their pupils, those appeared to have been going with a fizz. While wines enjoyed a 6.7% rise in sales last week, champagne and sparkling wines were up by 26% and 14% respectively.

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