Waitrose trade update for week ending 14 November 2015 from Personnel Director Helen Hyde

Christmas is in the air and organised shoppers are starting to get prepared with total divisional sales excluding fuel up 4.7% on last year, thanks in part to a Christmas direct marketing campaign landing with customers. Online also delivered with grocery sales 26.1% higher than last year following a promotion.

The festive feel was apparent with advent calendar sales up 11% on the same week last year and Christmas snacking seeing a 14% rise. Winter tipples fared well with imported whiskey sales increasing 17.5% year on year, whilst vermouth and liqueurs sales rose 14.6% and 10.6% respectively.

Meanwhile, it was another strong week for wine sales, up 24% on the same week last year, with promotional activity accounting for part of the week's success. Virtually all wine categories saw growth, with Portugal, Argentina and USA among the best performers.

WaitroseElsewhere, foods high in protein had a good week with chicken up 6.5%, pre-packed fish up 18% and cheese counters reporting an 8.6% increase. Fruit also performed well with frozen fruit up 33%, soft fruit up 9% and pears up 4%.

And with the blustery weather taking hold in large parts of the country, winter warmers continued to be popular with sweet potato up a substantial 32% on the same week last year, soups up 7%, frozen pizza up 8% and pasta on the rise by 7%.

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