Blog: Dean BestM&S marketeers praised - by Waitrose

Dean Best | 13 November 2009

UK blog number two -

We don't often read too much into the weekly sales figures at Waitrose, the upmarket UK grocer.

It really isn't worth looking at seven days' worth of sales if one wants to garner much insight into the performance of a business.

However, today (13 November), Waitrose's weekly press release contained some insight into their ongoing ding-dong with fellow "posh" food retailer Marks and Spencer.

Waitrose reported its "highest sales growth" for a "standard" trading week since 2006. Sales jumped by more than 17%, driven, it said, by its own-label Essentials range.

The Essentials line has been credited with breathing fresh life into Waitrose, which suffered in the early months of the recession.

"The range has been hugely successful since its launch earlier this year but last week's performance was particularly sparkling," Waitrose said.

It then mischievously added: "Maybe we should be thanking the M&S marketing department for highlighting both the quality and value of our essential Waitrose range in its high-profile advertising campaign."

Last week, M&S launched a campaign that targeted the prices of Waitrose's Essentials line and sought to promote its own Wise Buys range.

M&S executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose, never shy to give his tuppence worth on Waitrose, will be wondering whether that was indeed a wise move.


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