Lancashire-based supermarket chain Booths has recorded record advance Christmas orders.
The retailer said Christmas home delivery and collect in store orders were up 34 per cent as customers opt to select the finest festive food and drink in advance from the comfort of home.
The main reasons is said to be Booths’ lavishly-produced Christmas Book and nationwide delivery for the first time.
The firm said click and collect orders by value had increased by 14 per cent with the average basket spend up from £63.58 in 2013 to £72.44 this year. Average delivery orders are £116.
The Christmas Book, delivered to cardholders in October, has become an anticipated event with social networking sites awash with “festive drooling” over the contents.
Orders for delivery were particularly strong in Scotland and the North East.
Orders have come from as far afield as New York, New Zealand and Australia, with ex-pats reserving goods for their return home.
Pre-order sales of upmarket food at Booths have also had a welcome boost – lobster based products have increased by 87 per cent with a 112 per cent uplift in fine dining items like Chateaubriand and caviar.
Chairman Edwin Booth said: “The Christmas Book is a worthwhile investment in print marketing that inspires people to cook at home at Christmas”
Meanwhile, other major retailers are gearing up for a last-minute rush.
Andrew Stringer, general manager at St George’s Shopping Centre, said: “Overall, it’s looking like a successful Christmas trading period for the centre. The well-publicised Black Friday and Cyber Monday really marked the start of Christmas with many retailers discounting heavily across the weekend.
“Footfall has been encouraging but unpredictable, no two days have been the same. The choice available to consumers on where and when to shop is having a real impact on our perceptions of what we would traditionally expect. ”
Colin Gilligan, Centre Manager at Deepdale Shopping Park, said: “We’ve seen a steady flow of shoppers through Deepdale in the weeks leading up to Christmas and sales figures so far are positive. Lancashire County Council’s highways works did cause some congestion in the area earlier in the month but these works have now finished, traffic is flowing freely into the car park and we’ve added 154 more spaces for shoppers to park.”