Waitrose unharmed by Christmas cannibalization

Waitrose unharmed by Christmas cannibalization

In the six weeks leading up to 2 January, British supermarket formula Waitrose's like-for-like turnover dropped 1.4 %, but its online sales grew 7.9 %, resulting in a 1.2 % turnover increase overall.

Online Christmas peak

Waitrose proves it can more than offset the like-for-like turnover drop in physical stores with an online sales increase, as John Lewis Partnership's numbers, Waitrose's parent company, show some remarkable statistics: Waitrose's customers meticulously plan their Christmas shopping and tend to wait until the very last moment to buy. All time slots for home deliveries or local pick-ups were already booked in November. Waitrose turnover peaked in the last two days before Christmas, with a 6 % and 5.5 % turnover increase on 23 and 24 December.

 

Waitrose.com's online turnover grew 7.9 % on average in the six weeks leading up to 2 January, but its Christmas and New Year weeks even peaked at 9.8 % turnover increases. Its specialized websites - including wines, flowers, kitchen appliances, Christmas packages and gifts - grew 28.1 % in this six-week period.

 

40 % of turnover comes from online

John Lewis' department stores also seem to be able to counter the declining offline turnover with online sales. Over the aforementioned six-week period, store turnover dropped 1.2 % as there were fewer customers in the run-in to Christmas. However, customers did go to John Lewis online, as its online turnover grew 21.4 %.

 

40 % of John Lewis' turnover comes from online sales, with a 31 % increase in transactions from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

 

Its click & collect pick-up service grew 16 % in turnover, which means that half of John Lewis' online orders actually gets picked up at the location itself. Remarkable is that 35 % of the online orders at John Lewis is picked up at a local Waitrose store. It has 346 stores (including 256 supermarkets, 62 convenience stores and 28 food specialty stores), which gives it a broader range than the 46 John Lewis stores (including 32 department stores, 12 John Lewis at Home stores and 2 stores at Heathrow airport and St. Pancras train station).

 

Sales draws in store customers

John Lewis is therefore a means to get people to visit Waitrose stores. Its department stores received fewer stores prior to the Christmas period, but attracted a whole lot more after Christmas. In the last week, leading up to 2 January, John Lewis' stores welcomed an additional 16 %. Customers seemingly prefer a store visit if they want to chase sales, which helped John Lewis generate a 23 % turnover increase in the first week of sales.

 

All in all, John Lewis' total turnover grew 6.9 % and its department stores' like-for-like turnover grew 5.1 %. This means that its non-food (John Lewis) branch outperformed its food branch (Waitrose). "This has been a strong Christmas trading period for the Partnership despite the non-food market seeing significant shifts in trade patterns and the grocery market continuing to be challenging" chairman Charlie Mayfield said.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Amazon prepares own sports clothing collection

17/10/2017

Amazon is allegedly planning its own collections of sports clothing, having contacted manufacturers working for chains like Gap and Uniqlo. These are currently only producing small numbers of clothing for testing purposes.

H&M invests in old clothing recycling

12/10/2017

Swedish H&M has acquired a minority stake in Re:newcell, which targets the recycling of old clothing in order to ensure a more sustainable fashion industry.

Uniqlo's profit more than doubled

12/10/2017

In the past fiscal year, Japanese Uniqlo more than doubled its profit on the back of a 4 % turnover increase. The fashion chain forecasts international sales to soon outgrow those of Japan.

Gucci also halts fur production

12/10/2017

Fashion brand Gucci will no longer use fur in its clothing and accessories, as CEO Marco Bizzarri promised during his Kering Award for sustainable fashion acceptance speech for the London College of Fashion.

Fashion platform About You launches in the Netherlands and Belgium

11/10/2017

German fashion web shop About You, the second largest online European fashion retailer, officially launched in Belgium and the Netherlands following an unofficial launch in the Netherlands some time ago.

Luxury group LVMH exceeds third quarter expectations

10/10/2017

French luxury group LVMH has surpassed turnover expectations in the first three months of its fiscal year. Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior’s parent company managed a 12 % like-for-like turnover growth, to 30.1 billion euro.

Back to top