Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

Retail: Waitrose hails record Christmas with festive sales up 4.1%

09:52 08 January 2014

The Waitrose store in Ipswich.

The Waitrose store in Ipswich.

Archant

Waitrose toasted a record Christmas today as it highlighted the pressure faced by Britain’s big grocers from the premium end of the market.

shares

The business said like-for-like sales in stores were up 4.1% on the previous year for the 12 days ending December 31, helped by a strong performance from an own brand range endorsed by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal.

December 23 was a record day when the upmarket chain’s check-outs rung up £51million in takings as an average of 22,000 items were sold every minute.

For the five week period ending on Christmas Eve, like-for-like sales were up 3.1%, while online grocery sales increased 33.4%. Managing director Mark Price said there had been a late influx of sales.

The figures are not directly comparable with quarterly trading numbers from rival Sainsbury’s also published today but appear healthier than its 0.2% like-for-like rise over the 14 weeks to January 4.

Sainsbury’s said its takings were boosted by a 10% improvement in its own premium Taste the Difference brand, highlighting the importance of targeting higher spending customers.

At Waitrose, click-and-collect helped drive footfall with 619,000 collections from branches during the period.

The chain, part of the John Lewis Partnership, said volume growth had been driven by increased competitiveness on price as well as the success of the myWaitrose card, with customer visits up by 10.4% on last year.

It comes after some regular customers were apparently upset that its offer of a free hot drink with the card was attracting less well-heeled visitors who apparently have no intention of shopping.

Mr Price said: “Our performance this Christmas continues our sustained growth for the last five years.

“We’ve done well by giving people exactly what they want - high quality products, excellent value and superb service both in our shops and online.”

shares

0 comments

Sarah Howard, president of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, and Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, at the celebration marking the first year of work by the New Anglia Growth Hub.

Supporters and staff from the New Anglia Growth Hub today celebrated its first year of work.

B&Q parent Kingfisher said it was ploughing on with a shake-up plan

B&Q parent Kingfisher said today it was ploughing on with a shake-up plan “at pace” as it reported a first quarter slide in sales at the DIY chain.

The new Escape lounge at Stansted Airport.

A new business lounge at Stansted Airport has been used by more than 9,000 visitors in its first month.

Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King.

Proposals from pubs and brewing company Greene King designed to address concerns over its agreed acquisition of the Spirit Pub Company look set to be backed by the UK’s competition authority.

Angus Berry, energy manager at Thames Water, and Richard Robey, sales and marketing director at Haven Power.

Haven Power, the specialist supplier of electricity to UK businesses, has signed a deal with Thames Water worth more than £500million over the next five years.

Retail sales are

Retail sales are “bounding ahead” as falling prices and a boost to consumer spending power is giving retailers the most upbeat outlook for 27 years, according to new figures.

A Ryanair passenger plane after take off from Stansted Airport.

Budget airline Ryanair saw profits growth take off last year as a revamp designed to improve its image and attract business customers sent earnings soaring by 66%.

The New Anglia Growth Hub team, including its business growth advisers who offer free support to businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk.

New Anglia Growth Hub has beaten its target of providing support for 3,000 businesses in its first year.

Andrew Rowe, managing director of Concertus.

Andrew Rowe, managing director at Ipswich based Concertus Design & Property Consultants, has been appointed as finance director for SPACES, the new society that has been formed from a merger between SCALA (Society for Construction and Architecture in Local Authorities) and SCEME (Society of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers serving Local Government).

Greene King apprentice Tamara-Leigh Kirkham.

Greene King has been named VQ Large Employer of the Year for 2015, in recognition of its support for members of its workforce undertaking vocational qualifications (VQs).

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages