Sales at Waitrose rose 5.7% to £112.6m last week, when home and leisure was the best performing category.

The John Lewis-owned grocer reported sales of Christmas non-food lines up 19% in the period to December 3 as consumers prepared for the holiday.

Crackers and decorations were each ahead 24%, and home and leisure revenues advanced 17.5% altogether.

During the same week last year shoppers bought hearty comfort foods, but this year demand was strong for products more associated with summer such as salads and soft fruit.

Waitrose finance director Tom Athron said: “Looking ahead to Christmas, our new Heston from Waitrose Black Forest Buche went on sale last week and, echoing the huge success of Heston’s Christmas puddings, it has had a phenomenal response from shoppers.

“Our second and final delivery has arrived in branches this week and we expect them to continue to fly off the shelves.”

He said that Waitrose’s new store in Bracknell, Berkshire, “finished its first full week of trading with sales significantly exceeding our expectations”.