UK's Waitrose weekly sales up 7.8 pct as Xmas momentum builds

LONDON Mon Dec 3, 2012 7:46am EST

LONDON Dec 3 (Reuters) - Britain's Waitrose, the upmarket supermarket chain owned by John Lewis, said trading momentum in the Christmas period was building as it posted a 7.8 percent rise in sales, excluding petrol, in the week to Dec. 1.

The 288-store firm said on Monday that online sales jumped 58.2 percent year-on-year. Orders for turkeys rose 70 percent, it said, while sales of party food were up over 16 percent and sales of Christmas decorations up 142 percent.

Waitrose has been outperforming the wider UK grocery market, helped by the success of its 'essentials' value range, 'Brand Price Match' scheme and free delivery for online shopping.

Waitrose usually publishes weekly data on Fridays but will publish on Mondays in the run-up to Christmas.

John Lewis department stores, publishing on Sundays in the festive period, said week to Dec. 1 sales rose 9.3 percent to 124.2 million pounds.

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