The supermarket says sales from stores open for a year or more increased 3.1 per cent for the five weeks to Christmas Eve accelerating to 4.1 per cent over the last 12 trading days before Christmas Day. This including its highest single day take, £51m on 23 December.
Increased “price competitiveness” – Waitrose promises to match Tesco prices on branded goods – and the “success” of its MyWaitrose loyalty card were credited for the increase.
Waitrose managing director Mark Price caused controversy last month when he told The Telegraph that customers no longer valued points based loyalty schemes such as Tesco’s Clubcard and wanted instant rewards such as the free coffee or newspaper offered to MyWaitrose customers.
Waitrose opted for a simple film – “the story of giving something back” – to highlight the community projects it funds nationwide to front its Christmas campaign in contrast to more ambitious efforts from Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer and Tesco.
Elsewhere, online grocery sales grew 33.4 per cent over the five-week period. The supermarket is currently pushing its delivery services offering customers a free bottle of champagne if they order online.
Price says of the Christmas trading figures: “Our performance this Christmas continues our sustained growth for the last five years. We’ve done well by giving people exactly what they want – high quality products, excellent value and superb service both in our shops and online.”
Rival Sainsbury’s also reported strong Christmas trading figures today (8 January).