‘Inflation hitting the top line’ ahead of Christmas, Waitrose owner warns

The chair of Waitrose’s parent company, John Lewis Partnership, has warned that customers have become more conscious of spending ahead of Christmas and have beginning to budget.

Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Annual Conference, chair Sharon White, shoppers are changing their habits due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

“This is the first Christmas for three years that people get to spend with family, friends and loved ones, and I think people will be really excited to have a proper Christmas,” she said.

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“But you can see all sorts of things going on with consumer spending.”

She added that customers who have done their shopping in advance have already booked their Waitrose delivery slots.

“On the other hand, you can see other customers starting to budget, and shopping is more phased. People are sticking more with own-brand, value ranges, and buying fewer branded products.

“For us, inflation is hitting the top line. Customers are more thoughtful about what they are spending, and we are very conscious of our employees.

She concluded: “What we are seeing is that customers are still spending but they are being much more thoughtful and intentional about how they are spending.”



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