Waitrose Christmas sales began in earnest last week, rising 6.6% to £119.2m in the week to November 16.

The grocer said the Great British Bake Off is still having an impact on sales, with shoppers looking to create a “home-spun” Christmas with homemade food gifts.

Home baking nuts and cake decorations sales have both shot up nearly 30% compared with this time last year, and the retailer said it is experiencing record sales of sieves, preserving jars, cookie cutters and mixing bowls, all up by 50%.

Baking is not the only area where shoppers are getting an early start. Christmas meat and turkey orders are already up by 25%, while festive stationery, including cards and gift wrap, is up by 26%.

Away from Christmas sales, high-profile England rugby games at Twickenham have contributed to world beer sales rising 34%.

Commercial director Mark Williamson said: “Investment in our existing estate as well as new branches is also playing its part in continuing to achieve strong sales. This month has seen us complete nine refurbishments, our highest ever for a single month, as well as two major extensions. With two new stores in Northwich and Wootton still to come before the end of the month, the business is in excellent shape as we approach our busiest period.”