Waitrose sees 13% rise on horticulture sales as weather brightens

Total sales were down 2.1% in the week to 18 March but were distorted because Easter was earlier in 2016.

Warmer temperatures towards the start of the week, including the hottest day of the year so far on 15 March, appeared to influence sales. Food to go and salad sales were both up by 8%, while fresh dip sales increased by 14%.

Fresh fruit saw a really strong performance, too, Waitrose said. Raspberry sales were up by 24%, melon sales were up 22% and soft fruit sales increased by 31%.

Personnel director Helen Davies said: "Customers were seemingly just as eager to get into the garden with horticulture sales up 13%."

John Lewis and Waitrose saw outdoor living and daffodil sales rise in the previous week too.

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