Barbecues boost Waitrose sales

British grocer said sales jumped 14.5 per cent to £125.8 million last week

Waitrose said the long-awaited arrival of summer weather drove its strongest weekly sales performance outside of Christmas and Easter.

Waitrose said the long-awaited arrival of summer weather drove its strongest weekly sales performance outside of Christmas and Easter.

Fri, Jul 12, 2013, 09:48

British grocer Waitrose said the long-awaited arrival of summer weather and shoppers stocking-up in anticipation of a weekend of national sporting success drove its strongest weekly sales performance outside of Christmas and Easter.

The firm, part of the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership, this morning said its sales jumped 14.5 per cent year-on-year to £125.8 million in the week to July 6.

“Out came the sun and so did the barbecues,” Waitrose said, highlighting a 450 per cent year-on-year rise in demand for charcoal and a 173 per cent increase in sales of barbecuing meats.

The firm said Andy Murray’s progress to the Wimbledon men’s singles final and the deciding match in the British Lions’ series against Australia also spurred demand for drinks, with sales of Pimm’s up 316 per cent.

Waitrose is one of Britain’s fastest growing grocers as the market increasingly polarises.

At John Lewis’s department store division weekly sales rose 0.2 per cent to £71.7 million.

Here, the fine weather and sporting events were a hindrance as outdoor pursuits were preferred over shopping.

The business did, however, see a 300 per cent rise in sales of Weber barbecues.

Recent survey data has indicated a pick-up in Britain’s economic prospects.

However, Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, said the latest data from John Lewis’s department stores “does raise question marks over whether consumers are able or willing to keep spending at a decent rate in the near term.”

Reuters