April 30 2016 Latest news:

HESTON Blumenthal’s figgy pudding has been a bestseller at the new flagship Waitrose store at Futura Park in Ipswich, the store has revealed.

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The ‘Heston from Waitrose’ range has proved “extremely popular”, Waitrose says, with the Hidden Sauce Figgy Pudding taking over the top spot from the Hidden Orange pudding.

At John Lewis ‘at home’ next door, thousands of baubles have been sold in December at the newly-opened Nacton store, along with almost 100 Christmas trees. Technology-based gifts have also been popular and it is the iPad 4 16GB and Kindle Fire 16GB which have been the most sought after by Suffolk residents.

Hundreds of Heston’s Hidden Orange puddings have been sold since the shop opened on November 8, but in the past week the new Hidden Sauce Figgy Pudding has caught customers’ eyes and has now overtaken the Hidden Orange pudding as the most purchased item in the exclusive range. It is now poised to sell out before Christmas.

Shoppers have also been getting festive in the home, with thousands of baubles purchased in December at John Lewis at home Ipswich, along with almost 100 Christmas trees. The Christmas shop has proved popular with indoor and outdoor lights with the Ornamental Acrylic Reindeer amongst the best selling items.

A half price offer on champagne has proved particularly popular, the Waitrose store reports, with sales of fizz doubling compared to the previous week. Other puddings that are being snapped up at Waitrose shops across the country include the frozen Heston from Waitrose Black Forest Buche and Seriously Chocolatey Chocolate and Salted Caramel Bombe, which are seeing uplifts of 182 per cent and 271 per cent on the week before. One of the quirkier best sellers at Waitrose Ipswich has been the Giant Lindt Lindor Ball, a football-sized ball full of chocolate truffles.

Hotel Chocolat and Charbonnel et Walker products being the most bought items from John Lewis at home’s Christmas gift food section. Among technology gadgets at the John Lewis store, the iPad 4 16GB and Kindle Fire 16GB have been the most sought after, it says.

Paul Reeley, branch manager, Waitrose Ipswich said: “Ever since we opened, getting ready for Christmas has been high on the agenda for customers and as the big day gets closer we’ve seen sales of festive goods grow and grow. In Waitrose shops across the country Heston’s range has been selling well and it’s great to see that it is just as popular in Suffolk. Towards the end of this week and over the weekend we expect to see sales of fresh Turkeys, cheese and vegetables really soar as customers prepare for their Christmas Day feast.”

Anna Moir, branch manager, John Lewis at home Ipswich said shoppers were “well and truly” in the Christmas spirit and are not only continuing to buy gifts for friends and family but also decorate their homes – with baubles and lights flying off the shelves in the past week.

“I’m expecting last minute gift buying to continue right up until we close on Christmas Eve at 5pm,” she said.

The news comes as John Lewis this week announced that sales nationally to Saturday, December 15, broke the previous week’s record by reaching a sterling total of £147.8million, up 11.1% on the same week last year.

Meanwhile at Waitrose Christmas preparations are accelerating with week on week sales up by 6.7 per cent.

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