Summer Holidays And Olympics Help Lift Sales At Waitrose

Sales at Waitrose rose 2.1% to £122.53m in the week to 6 August, buoyed by the start of the Olympics and summer holiday spending.

The chain said it had seen uplifts in sales of Brazilian food and drink as the games in Rio got underway. For example, sales of picanha – a Brazilian-style steak – rose by 20% and Brazilian wine sales jumped 54%. The sporting feast on TV also drove sales of quick and convenient suppers, with pizza up by 19%.

Meanwhile, with the summer holidays in full swing, sales of garden toys were up 86%. Book sales were also strong last week (up 37%) due, in no small part, to ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ – the first play script ever sold by Waitrose.

At sister chain John Lewis, sales climbed 7.3% to £73.66m after trade was boosted by a strong performance in electricals and home technology.

The retailer said that the strong sales of electricals (+11.2%) was driven by customers making high-tech purchases ahead of their summer holidays, with cameras and wireless headphones both proving popular. The warm weather also continued to drive sales of home cooling devices, which finished the week up 61%.

Home category sales rose 5.4% as outdoor living items continued to be popular. Fashion sales were also rose 5.4% on the year.