Waitrose said sales of its festive bakery goods, including products from its Heston Blumenthal ranges, contributed to its most successful Christmas on record.
The supermarket business, which forms part of the John Lewis Partnership, reported a 7.7% rise in total branch sales, excluding petrol, for the period between 4 November and 24 December. Like-for-like sales compared to the same period last year increased by 4.3%, while the number of items purchased rose by 5.9%, which the company said was driven by the extension of its Brand Price Match last May.
The firm added that its top sellers during the festive season included a Hidden Sauce Figgy Pudding and a Christmas Chocolate Cake, all of which derive from the Heston from Waitrose range.
Mark Price, managing director at Waitrose, said: “The key to our growth this Christmas has been a combination of great value and inspiring, innovative products. This has led to increased volumes driving our sales uplift as more people shopped with us and existing customers bought additional items.
“More promotions, Brand Price Match and our essential Waitrose range mean that customers feel confident about our prices. But it wouldn’t be Christmas without fabulous special occasion food like Heston’s new festive products.”
He added that customers had been particularly savvy in their shopping patterns, with strong promotions on confectionery and bakery items more than a month before Christmas motivating them to get ahead of the game.
The John Lewis Partnership also reported a 14.8% lift in total sales to £684.8m for the five weeks to 29 December 2012, as well as a 25.5% rise in comparison to two years ago.
The company also reported record sales of £157.8m in the fourth week of the period (16-22 December), up 26.5% on 2011 and breaking through the £150m barrier for the first time.