John Lewis sales down 2.4% last week as customers leave Christmas shopping to the last minute
John Lewis saw its sales drop by 2.4% year-on-year last week which the retailer attributed to a trend for customers to leave their Christmas shopping to the last minute this year.
Despite this, the fashion directorate enjoyed a record week with sales rising by 2.5% year-on-year. There were strong performances from premium beauty and beauty gift sets while menswear, childrenswear and nightwear also performed well.
The home directorate also achieved a record week with sales rising by 0.6% year-on-year. Growth came from right across the retailer’s own brand home ranges with fitted furniture sales up 11% and bed linen up 6% year-on-year.
However, electricals and home technology sales fared less well, dropping by 10.8% compared to last year although small electrical sales grew by 7% boosted by strong sales of GHD and Nespresso products.
In the shops, standout year-on-year performances came from the Chichester, Chester and Swindon shops where sales rose by 10.6%, 7.6% and 4.8% respectively. The retailer is giving customers an extra day to order click & collect items to any John Lewis shop, by extending the cut-off date for orders to 23 December for collection in shops on Christmas Eve.
While online sales grew by 5.5% in the week, click & collect orders were up 30.3% year-on-year.
Andrew Murphy, retail director at John Lewis, said: “Last week we said it’s all to play for and that is still absolutely the case as we have seen a building trend of customers leaving their gift purchases right up until the last minute. The record levels of trade in our fashion and home assortments are hard won in what has been a challenging market.
“However, busy though our shops have been over the past week, it's only in these final pre-Christmas days that many customers are finally moving to complete their gift buying and other purchases. Consequently our partners are standing ready for a very busy final trading day before the festive break.”
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