Waitrose trade update for week ending 28 November 2015 from Finance Director Loraine Woodhouse
The weekend marked a turning point in ecommerce Christmas sales, as the cold weather and biggest online shopping period of the year prompted many to start their festive preparations in earnest.
Total sales excluding fuel were 2.0% higher than last year, and online grocery sales 18% higher, boosted by customer marketing promotions and by seasonal offers across our websites. Home delivery grocery slots for the 23rd and 24th December are now 98% booked up as shoppers get organised for the big day, with customers now starting to also fill up slots for the weekend before Christmas.
This coming weekend is predicted to be the most popular time for people to put their tree up. In preparation many customers spent last weekend ordering house decorations and tablewear online. The most popular product ordered through waitroseflorist.com was the Nordic candle centrepiece.
The top seller on waitrosekitchen.com last weekend was the Nutribullet Pro, with 10% of the website's sales coming from this product alone. Also popular on the site were roasting tins, accounting for one in 25 purchases made through the site.
Waitrosepet.com is this year noting strong demand for Christmas jumpers and stockings for pets – both are selling at double the rate of last year. Also popular are premium gifts including faux fur blankets and beds. Our research this week has found that 62% of pet owners will be buying their pet a gift this Christmas, and 13% of pets are being treated to an advent calendar.
In our shops too customers have been getting into the festive spirit, stocking up on 83% more mulled wine last week than the week before – and 20% more sparkling wine.