Booths has toasted climbing like-for-likes during the crucial Christmas trading period as key seasonal lines such as alcohol drove sales.

The upmarket northern grocer posted a 2.6% increase in like-for-like sales during the three weeks ending January 7.

Total sales advanced 1.8% to more than £10m across the same period, marking the best festive season in Booths’ 169-year history.

It marks a contrast to last year, when the retailer’s festive sales were dampened by storms in its heartland in the North of England.

Booths said “strong” sales in alcohol boosted performance, as Champagne grew 28%, craft ales increased 29%, artisan gin jumped 30% and port rose 12%.

In food, sales of salmon more than doubled, vegetables were up 26% and Christmas desserts enjoyed an 8% uplift compared to the same period a year ago.

Its new line, ‘The Great Christmas Dinner’ – which featured everything customers needed to serve Christmas lunch for eight for £100 – sold out over the festive season.

Booths said its Great Northern Christmas Book also gained traction, driving home delivery and click-and-collect sales up 6.9%.

The grocer’s chief executive Chris Dee said: “Customers have always sought out the finest quality food and drink at Christmas and this year is no exception.

“Booths’ reputation for finding specialist products made by local and artisan suppliers means we come into our own in the festive period.

“People trust Booths to deliver great service and exceptional food. They expect the best from Booths, and we delivered just that.”