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John Lewis sales down 16.7% last week after later start to clearance sale

John Lewis saw its weekly sales drop by 16.7% year-on-year last week as changes to the trading calendar combined with warm sunny weather gave a challenging context for trade versus last year for both its shops and online.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

John Lewis sales down 16.7% last week after later start to clearance sale

The retailer’s trading calendar is significantly different this year with its clearance sale launching a week later than in 2013.

Although sales in the home directorate were down 22%, the warm weather drove buoyant trade in outdoor living ranges and there was also a 15% uplift in fitted furniture sales.

Fashion sales declined by 16% despite a strong performance from schoolwear that delivered 32% growth on last year.

Electricals and home technology sales dropped 12.7% although there were strong performances from audio and gaming, and small electricals.

Online sales fell by 6.4%.

During the week, the retailer had cause to celebrate after being voted ‘Best Retailer’ for the second year running in the Which? consumer association awards. It was also named as the retailer with the ‘Best Consumer Mobile Shopping Experience’ in the EPiServers Mobile Commerce 2014 Report.

Mark Lewis, online director at John Lewis, said: “This is particularly pleasing as our customers are increasingly choosing to shop and browse using their mobile devices, even when in our stores, and we have invested heavily in this area to deliver an outstanding customer experience. Last week we also launched an updated version of our iPad app.

“Looking forward, this week is all about clearance with partners set to maximise all opportunities over the coming weeks.”

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