Pimm's sales at Waitrose rocketed last week as middle class Britons took full advantage of the sunshine

Helen Cahill
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Did you buy Pimm's at Waitrose last week? (Source: Getty)

It seems middle class Britain didn't waste any time when the sun started shining last week.

Hot weather has boosted sales at Waitrose as shoppers hoovered up Pimm's and burgers.

For the week ending 8 April, Pimm's sales rocketed 232 per cent at the middle class' favourite grocer, and sales of barbecue coal rose 200 per cent. Overall, sales at the supermarket were up 7.6 per cent year-on-year, totaling £133.57m.

John Lewis also benefited from the sunshine, with sales rising 3.5 per cent as compared to the same week last year.

Read more: Inflation stuck at its highest since 2013 in March

Sunglasses sales pushed John Lewis' fashion accessories up by 18.2 per cent.

"In home, sales were down 2.9 per cent as sales of larger items were impacted by the warmer weather," said Dino Rocos, operations director at John Lewis. "Although our outdoor living was up an incredible 92.3 per cent."

The figures come after the British Retail Consortium and KPMG released disappointing data on the retail sector this morning. UK retail sales fell one per cent in March, with food sales dropping 0.2 per cent in the three months to March on a like-for-like basis. Total food sales were down by 1.2 per cent.

In the three months to March, like-for-like sales on non-food items dropped by 1.1 per cent, the worst average growth since May 2011.

Read more: Trouble in store: More pain on the way for UK retail

The poor performance can partly be explained by the late timing of Easter this year.

“Retailers will be hoping Easter boosts retail sales in April, whether it’s shoppers making the most of the holiday or those choosing to spruce up their homes," said Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG.

"The new tax year marks further pressure on margins in the form of the apprenticeship levy and business rate changes, therefore tighter cost management and a focus on efficiency is more important than ever.”

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