Waitrose has capitalised on a strong online offer to deliver a positive Christmas performance.

The upmarket grocer enjoyed a like-for-like sales rise of 3.8% while total sales rose 9.5% in the month of December.

The supermarket also enjoyed record-breaking sales in the week before Christmas, achieving its highest ever sales for a single week. 

Sales through Waitrose.com rose 49% and orders grew 68% in the seven days to Christmas. Online wine and flower sales also rose strongly with wine sales more than doubling and flower sales increasing by 79% on last year.

Compared with the same period in 2009, grocery sales in December grew by 19.1% and like-for-like sales were up by 8.8%

Waitrose managing director Mark Price said: “More customers than ever before shopped across all our ranges this Christmas, from luxurious festive fare to essential Waitrose trimmings. We’ve had a very strong Christmas.”

The grocer sold 53% more Christmas puddings fuelled by Heston Blumenthal’s Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding, as well as the chef’s new mini version with a hidden clementine. 

Conlumino managing director Neil Saunders said: “This is a strong showing for Waitrose, especially so because it was up against some reasonably strong comparatives from last year and a background of constrained consumer finances.

“We believe the performance is testament to Waitrose’s strategy of successfully balancing the price-quality equation which allows consumers to receive value on everyday products but trade up to premium products when they wish.”

Saunders believes Waitrose has considerable potential for growth in online retailing.