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John Lewis posts uplift in festive sales

The John Lewis Partnership has reported an uplift in sales at both the John Lewis department store chain and its Waitrose supermarket over the festive trading period but said pressure on margins is increasing.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

John Lewis posts uplift in festive sales

Like-for-like sales at John Lewis rose by 3.1% while sales at Waitrose increased by 1.5% in the six weeks to 30 December.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “We traded well during the Christmas period, with gross sales in the six weeks to 30 December £1,962 million, up 2.5% on last year.

“This was due to the exceptional hard work and commitment of our Partners. We focused on our differentiated product offering, attention to service and strong value proposition, underpinned by our Never Knowingly Undersold promise.”

At the John Lewis department store chain, Black Friday week was the busiest in its history and included a record hour for online trade.

Meanwhile, Waitrose launched 500 new festive products in the period, including its new Heston Citrus Sherbert Lazy Gin which sold a month's worth of stock in one day. In addition, sales of the premium range Waitrose 1 products were up 4.2% in volume.

Looking ahead, Mayfield said: “The pressure on margin seen in the first half of the year has intensified because of our choice to maintain competitive prices, despite higher costs mainly due to the weaker exchange rate. This will negatively affect full-year financial results as indicated previously.”

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