Waitrose sales in surprise fall despite record Valentine’s DayComments Off on Waitrose sales in surprise fall despite record Valentine’s Day
Sales fell 0.6% in the week to February 14 as the raging supermarket price war appeared to take hold, although Valentine’s Day proved popular, with the supermarket revealing flower sales jumped 19% on last year.
Bosses also revealed that champagne and Prosecco sales were up 319% and 271% on the year as a whole, making up seven of the ten best selling wine lines at the supermarket.
However, heavy discounting last year, that was not repeated this year, appears to have been Waitrose’s undoing across the entire supermarket group.
A Waitrose spokesman said ending the free coffees for customers sitting in its cafés without making a food purchase did not contribute to the sales fall.
The fall comes as the latest sales figures for UK retailers showed January discount events failed to boost spending, with total sales dropping 0.3% compared with December.
Part of the drop was due to plummeting oil prices, which hit a six-year low in January, sending petrol station prices down 15.1% on last year.
Average store prices fell 3.1% in January compared with the same month a year ago – the largest year-on-year fall since records began in 1997.
The fall was slightly more than economists had predicted, but was up on a year-on-year basis, rising 5.4% on January sales in 2014 – the 22nd consecutive monthly year-on-year rise.