Waitrose toasts best Christmas

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Supermarket chain Waitrose has hailed its “most-successful Christmas on record” after its brand price matching campaign boosted takings.

The retailer, which is owned by the John Lewis Partnership, said total branch sales for the period between 4 November and Christmas Eve were up 7.7 per cent on a year ago. On a like-for-like basis, which strips out store openings and extensions, sales were up by 4.3 per cent.

Customer numbers were up by 4.5 per cent for the period while 23 December was the busiest ever Sunday at the chain, which has 288 stores, including four in Scotland, with a fifth – in Stirling – due to open next month.

Managing director Mark Price said: “The key to our growth has been a combination of great value and inspiring, innovative products.”