Waitrose trade update

Total sales excluding fuel were 10 per cent down last week for Waitrose, with comparisons distorted by the fall of the New Year’s Day bank holiday (when the majority of our branches were closed) which resulted in one additional day of trade in the same week in 2016.

Many customers were starting the year with a health kick, as sales of stir fry vegetables and prepared fruit were up over 20 per cent and people turned to healthier snacking alternatives such as nuts after the Christmas indulgence. Vegetarian meals had a strong week and spiralised vegetables also continue to be a popular speedy dinner choice.

As the Christmas decorations were put away, bare homes were brightened by spring flowers, up 32 per cent. Household cleaning was also on the agenda as the hosting season drew to a close, resulting in a strong week for the category with people taking advantage of half price offers to re-stock their cleaning cupboards with the essentials.