Rain and cold weather boosts Waitrose sales
11:50 06 July 2012
Total sales at Waitrose last week were 3.2pc higher than the same week last year, driven by shoppers stocking up on warming and comfort foods which are more reminiscent of the winter months.
In a trading update Waitrose said comparatives continue to be challenging due to a 25pc off wine promotion during the equivalent trading week in 2011, as well as warmer weather at the same time last year, which prompted a flurry of barbecues and al fresco dining.
However, Waitrose.com experienced its strongest sales outside of Christmas last week, with total orders up by 67.5pc on last year. Its Dotcom Fulfilment Centre in Acton, West London, also reached a record number of orders.
Tom Athron, Waitrose Finance Director, said: “Last week, shoppers cooked up hearty meals with mince beef, up 31pc on last year, beef joints, up 40pc and casserole meats, up 28pc. These were accompanied with root vegetables, up 13pc on last year, and asparagus, up 54pc.
“Ready meals also had a good week, with sales up by 18pc, as shoppers looked for something quick, easy and warming to eat whilst watching sporting events such as the football and tennis. Sales of Oriental ready meals rose by 45pc, Italian by 55pc and traditional British dishes by 75pc. Mexican ready meals rose by a fantastic 272pc as we launched a host of new products to the range.
“We also relaunched over 70 desserts, including 30 brand new lines, which prompted a total uplift of 20pc across the category. The best-sellers in the range so far included the new essential Waitrose limoncello desserts, followed by the Chocolate brownie cream pie chaos and the Key lime pie.
“This week we are pleased to announce our new commitment to enable all of our branches to donate surplus food to charities by the end of the year. This will play a significant role in furthering our support for local communities, as well as helping achieve our aim of sending no waste to landfill by the end of 2012.”