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Waitrose enjoys ‘remarkable’ half-year, as online sales grow by more than 40%

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Waitrose managing director Mark Price today hailed a “remarkable” half-year in which the supermarket’s online sales grew by more than 40%.

Waitrose’s weekly figures, released today by parent company the John Lewis Partnership , showed ecommerce growth of 42.6% in the 26 weeks to July 26. That’s far ahead of the supermarket’s total sales growth, which hit 4.5%, including petrol, over the same period.

“This week brings to a close a remarkable half-year for our business,” said Price. “In a more turbulent time for food retailing than any of us can remember, we have outperformed the industry, won more customers, increased our market share and won top awards.”

But he warned that a period of “unprecedented investment” would impact on half-year profits set to be reported next month. As well as investing in price matching and promotions, he said, “we are also building our online business, opening new shops and improving existing ones, offering new services and hospitality and using MyWaitrose to understand our customers more.”

He added: “This all builds on our well-deserved reputation for top-class service and the fabulous quality and innovation of our products. Everything we’re doing is enabling us to compete well now – continuing our five-year out-performance of the industry – and build the modern Waitrose equipped to succeed in the very different grocery landscape of the future.”

In week 26 alone, ecommerce was up by 13.7% and total sales by 4.5%, at £121.9m.

Over the half-year, John Lewis’ online sales grew by 26%, compared to the same time last year, while total sales grew by 9%. In week 26 alone, sales grew by 29% online and by 9% across the business. As well as performing well online, stores also showed growth: High Wycombe was the best individual performer, with 27% growth, while new format shops as a group turned in growth of 33%.

“This is a fantastic achievement and provides a superb platform as we look ahead to the rest of the year,” said Paula Nickols, director, buying and brand, at John Lewis .

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