Waitrose weekly sales rose 6.8% last week as shoppers stocked up on festive food.

The upmarket grocer said the number of transactions was up 1.6% in the week to Saturday on the previous week.Spending in terms of volume rose 2.2% on the previous week and up 8% on last year.

Online grocery sales rose 45.3%. Orders made using a mobile phone rose 30% week on week and 16% of orders were made using a tablet.

Waitrose personnel director Helen Hyde said: “Our dotcom fulfilment centre in Acton, West London, is gearing up for its busiest delivery period of the year - nearly 40% more orders are set to be delivered across London in the week before Christmas.  

“Our click-and-collect service is also becoming increasingly popular, with sales up 32%, as shoppers select and order their groceries online and collect them - all bagged and ready to go - from their local branch at a time that suits them best.”

The grocer’s Heston from Waitrose Hidden Sauce Figgy Pudding made its debut and is already in “phenomenal demand”. The £14.99 pudding is now selling on eBay for over £100.