Diamond Jubilee shopping surge sees booze, bunting and gnomes fly off supermarket shelves

16:53 31 May 2012

A pair of Jubilee gnomes as sold at B&Q

A pair of Jubilee gnomes as sold at B&Q

Booze, bunting and even royal gnomes are among the items flying off supermarket shelves ahead of the Diamond Jubilee weekend.

Waitrose said sales of Pimms - considered to be a “litmus paper for the feel-good factor” - are up by more than 260 per cent on last year, with the spirit outselling every other in the range.

Sales of cider, trifle and picnic or party paperware have also surged.

Asda has 2.8 million Victoria sponges and one million cucumbers in stock for the weekend.

DIY retailer B&Q said it has sold 100,000 metres of Union Jack bunting, 10,500 Jubilee cushions and 3,100 Jubilee gnomes.

Sainsbury’s reported sales of 364 miles of bunting and 146,000 flags.

Union Jack cake stands, teacups and saucers are also selling well.

It also expected to sell nearly 10 million servings of strawberries, one million jars of jam, four million loaves of bread, 20 million cans or bottles of beer, 295,000 bottles of Champagne and 180,000 bags of charcoal over the weekend.

Sainsbury’s general merchandise director Robbie Feather said: “Record sales of flags and bunting were seen in 2011 thanks to the royal wedding but current indications show that the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is set to far outstrip last year’s demand.”

Tesco said it was preparing for the biggest celebration since the Millennium, with sales of street party products in massive demand.

The fastest-selling party item at the supermarket in the last week has been waving flags, and it expects to have sold 2.86 million of them by the end of the weekend, enough for 40 per cent of the population of London.

Tesco party range buyer Matt Compton said: “This is the biggest week we have had since the Millennium in terms of party sales with demand far exceeding sales last year’s royal wedding, and we haven’t even reached the weekend yet.

“Anything with a Union Jack on it is selling like hot cakes and on our disposable tableware range we have seen an incredible 300 per cent rise in sales on a regular week.”

Marks and Spencer said it has sold more than 200,000 Jubilee teacakes, 50,000 commemorative Jubilee biscuit tins and 50km (31.1 miles) of bunting - enough to line The Mall 155 times.

An M&S spokeswoman said the retailer predicts 21,000 of its sausages and 17,000 of its burgers will be eaten every hour over the weekend.

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