Food retailer Waitrose has reported a 6.3% weekly sales rise, assisted by shoppers stocking up with drinks ahead of the Christmas holiday.

Sales of gin jumped 17% in the period to December 10, when bottled beers were ahead 23% and cider up 36%.

Wine sales though Waitrose Wine Direct rocketed 70% and party ordering business Waitrose Entertaining delivered a 42% rise in revenues.  

Waitrose supply chain director David Jones said: “With the final countdown well underway, our entire supply chain - from producers to drivers to warehouse and branch Partners - are working flat out to fill our shops with festive fare.  

“In December our warehouse teams will pick around 25 million cases of stock ready for delivery to our shops.  That works out to an average of 11 cases of stock every second.”