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Jubilee puts fizz in to sales for UK retailers

Major retailers are reporting buoyant Jubilee weekend sales of sparkling wine and Champagne.

Festivities for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee were the main driver for the increases with Asda reporting a 85% uplift in sales, Waitrose seeing English wines sales up 96% and M&S saying it was an “unprecedented” week for sparkling wine.

English sparking wine in particular is beginning to gain some sales momentum helped by a big summer of events in the UK and its recent appearance on the BBC television The Apprentice.

Asda reported that its Champagne category saw a sales uplift of 85% compared to the same week last year.

The retailer’s best-selling Champagne was the Pierre Darcys Brut priced at £12, followed by Dubois Caron, Taittinger and Lanson. In terms of sparkling wines, the category saw a sales uplift of 21% compared to the same week last year.

The best sellers were Asda Cava Brut, Martini Prosecco, Martini Asti, Monistrol Vintage and Monistrol Vintage rosé.

All in all, this equated to the second biggest week of the year for both categories (Champagne and sparkling wine) after Valentine’s Day.

Tesco said that over the four day weekend, sales of Champagne were up 262% year on year and sales of Tesco’s Finest Denbies Estate White 2010 were up over 33% year on year.

According to Waitrose, English wine had its biggest week on record with sales up 96%.

Mark Price, Waitrose managing director, said: “The prospect of a long weekend and a wonderful focus for celebration spurred shoppers into action. Many people clearly welcomed having a great reason to step away from day-to-day budgeting to stock up on fabulous food and drink for Jubilee parties and entertaining.”

Jubilee buffets and street parties were also thought to have been washed down with British drinks, including cider and British ales which saw an uplift of 70% and 25% respectively.

The chain saw total sales jump 19.8% to £123m for the week ending 2 June – higher than any other trading week in Waitrose’s history with the exception of Christmas and Easter.

Sales were up by one third on Christmas week and 2,000% on the same week last year at M&S. English fizz sales were up 50 times the normal rate with their exclusive sparkling wine range proving popular.

“We have sold 50,000 bottles of our exclusive sparkling wines from Ridgeview and Chapel Down wineries,” said Marks & Spencer’s trading manager for beers, wines and spirits, Andrew Bird.

Hotels and restaurants also had a major windfall over the long weekend with managing director of The Ritz, Stephen Boxall, confirming his hotel poured 600 bottles of Champagne and served over 3,000 scones and 15,000 finger sandwiches.

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