Upmarket UK grocer Waitrose has seen its most successful Christmas on record with total branch sales (excluding fuel) for the twelve trading days ending December 31st up 6.5% on last year and 4.1% on a like for like basis.

Sales on Monday 23 December were £51m – the highest ever taken by the business in a single day with an average of 22,000 items going through checkouts every minute.

For the five week period ending on Christmas Eve, total sales (excluding fuel) were £736m – up 5.4% on the equivalent period last year and 3.1% on a like for like basis.

Online grocery sales also saw stellar growth – up 33.4% for the five-week period. Click and Collect was a strong driver of footfall with 619,000 collections from Waitrose branches during the same period.

Volume growth, driven by increased price competitiveness and the success of the myWaitrose card, has been a key factor in this sales uplift with customer visits up by 10.4% per cent on last year for the five week period.

Waitrose Managing Director, Mark Price, said: “Every year retailers say that Christmas is late, but with some justification in 2013 as customers phased their shopping in line with the mid-week fall of the main festivities. Partners across all our branches and our supply chain have done a brilliant job in coping with the late influx of shoppers.

“Our performance this Christmas continues our sustained growth for the last five years. We’ve done well by giving people exactly what they want – high quality products, excellent value and superb service both in our shops and online.”

Waitrose’s premium own label ranges saw some of the strongest growth in the business with sales within the Heston range up 46.4%, Menu From up 45.6% and the Seriously range of sweet treats up 22.7%. Duchy Originals from Waitrose also performed very strongly with sales up by 9.2% per cent for the five week period.