Waitrose & Partners Sees Sales Up Marginally Over Christmas
Upmarket UK grocer Waitrose & Partners has posted a 0.4% increase in like-for-like sales in the seven weeks to 4 January.
Gross sales at the business were down 1.3% compared to the previous year, due to store closures, at £1.03 billion (€1.21 billion).
It saw online sales increase 16.7% during the period, while in the seven days leading up to Christmas, online grocery orders were up 23.4%.
Commenting on the performance of Waitrose & Partners, Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, which owns the brand, said that the business "saw encouraging progress against our milestones to accelerate growth online next year".
He added that he expects profits at Waitrose & Partners to be broadly in line with the previous year.
John Lewis Partnership
The Waitrose & Partners brand outperformed the wider John Lewis Partnership, which saw gross sales for the seven week period down 2.3% compared to the previous year and down 2.0% on a like-for-like basis.
In addition, the group said that Paula Nickolds, the managing director of John Lewis Partnership, is to step down from its board and leave the partnership in February of this year.
Commenting on the business' performance, analyst Sofie Wilmott of GlobalData said, "Christmas did not provide the boost in performance that John Lewis & Partners will have been hoping for following a tough first half and the retailer continued to be dragged down by its home and electricals divisions where sales fell 3.4% and 4.0% respectively, hindered by little innovation in electricals and more cautious spending overall.
"Following its lowest bonus pay out in 66 years in FY2018/19 (3%), it is looking unlikely that its partners will receive a bonus this year with Partnership profits expected to be significantly lower, demonstrating just how tough times are for retailers in general but department stores in particular."
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.