Waitrose Leaves Rivals Behind With Christmas Sales Growth

Waitrose was the top supermarket performer over the festive season, recording year-on-year sales growth of 14 per cent in the four weeks to Boxing Day.
According to the latest UK grocery sector data from market research company Nielsen, the upmarket chain saw sales in the three months to December 26 increase by 13.6 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.
In December, the 14 per cent increase in sales was nearly double the level recorded by market leader Tesco . The UK’s biggest retailer trailed behind its rivals with sales rising by 7.4 per cent over the four weeks compared to last year – the lowest sales growth during the period.
Morrisons came second behind Waitrose with 11.8 per cent sales growth in the month leading to Christmas, the Nielsen data showed, followed by Asda with an 8.6 per cent rise.
Sainsbury’s ranked fourth with sales in the run up to Christmas increasing by 7.7 per cent.
Nielsen said the grocery market had a “robust” December and a “particularly strong” Christmas, with its figures revealing 6.7 per cent sector growth in the four week period.
Mike Watkins, senior manager of retailer services at the market research firm, said: “We had a slow start to the season and from the figures it looks like consumers held back until the final fortnight where we saw some exceptional growths.”
“The level of promotional activity in supermarkets usually drops off in December but it remained at 35pc this year,” he added.
“Shoppers shared in the bonanza – price cuts, bigger than ever promotions and loyalty scheme give-aways all helped encourage shoppers to spend.”