Waitrose reports 'strong' Christmas trading

Waitrose store in Bristol
Image caption Waitrose said its sales in the week before Christmas had set a new weekly record

Supermarket chain Waitrose, which is part of the John Lewis Partnership, has reported rising Christmas sales.

Like-for-like grocery sales, which exclude the effect of new store openings, rose 3.8% in December, compared with the same month last year.

Grocery sales overall grew 9.5% in the month. Sales at the online operation grew by 49%.

"We've had a very strong Christmas," said Waitrose managing director Mark Price.

The supermarket said that the week before Christmas had broken its record for sales in a week.

Turkey orders rose 66%, mince pie sales were up by more than a third, and Christmas pudding sales were up 53%.

On Wednesday, John Lewis said it had seen an "outstanding" increase in department store sales, with like-for-like sales up 6.2%.

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