Total year-on-year sales at Waitrose edged up 0.4% in the week to 11 March, an improvement on its recent run of poor results.
The group said that milder weather drove increased demand for fresh produce, with sales of raspberries up 38%, prepared fruit up 29%, and salad up 11%. Waitrose also saw strong demand for its gluten and dairy free products, with sales of its ‘free from’ range jumping 135%.
Overall, sales in the ambient category were down 0.6%, whilst sales in Chilled, Fruit, Vegetables & Horticulture, and Bakery rose 1.9%. The Meat, Fish, Frozen & Dairy category saw sales increase 2.7%, whilst Home & Leisure was down 4.9%.
At sister chain John Lewis, year-on-year sales 7%, boosted by the warmer weather and Mothers’ Day preparations.
Fashion sales were up 11.1%, as shoppers began to buy Spring clothing. Meanwhile, sales of beauty, wellbeing and leisure products climbed 18.1%.
Electrical & home technology sales rose 7.5%, whilst home category sales increased 2.6% rise overall, driven by a 20.6% lift in sales of outdoor living products.