Nights in front of TV boost Waitrose

PRIME-TIME television shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, The X-Factor and I’m A Celebrity were yesterday hailed for triggering a sales boost at supermarket chain Waitrose.

The upmarket grocer, which is owned by the John Lewis Partnership, said its customers were buying more ingredients for “quick and easy dinners at home” along with snacks to eat in front of the gogglebox.

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Top sellers in the week to 12 November included popcorn, sales of which doubled year-on-year, with pretzels up 34 per cent and sharing-sized bags of crisps up 71 per cent. Demand for ready meals led to sales of Waitrose’s “Menu From” range rising 28 per cent. Shoppers bought 21 per cent more chilled desserts and 18 per cent more frozen pizzas.

But John Lewis revealed that all three of the Scottish branches of its department store chain suffered falling sales during the same period, with Glasgow down 5.8 per cent year-on-year, Edinburgh 4.8 per cent lower and Aberdeen off 4.3 per cent.

Andy Street, managing director of the employee-owned firm, said the chain’s overall 0.8 per cent year dip in sales was “resilient”.