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John Lewis sales edge down 1.9% last week

John Lewis has reported that sales dropped 1.9% year-on-year last week as the retailer faced strong figures from last year and a week of changeable weather.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

John Lewis sales edge down 1.9% last week

John Lewis has reported that sales dropped 1.9% year-on-year last week as the retailer faced strong figures from last year and a week of changeable weather.

Trading in the shops was “tough” but online sales at johnlewis.com remained in growth, rising by 9.4%.

Andrew Murphy, retail director at John Lewis, said: “Overall, when assessing our early August sales, we should keep in mind that the Back to School period and seasonal build to the bank holiday weekend are running one week later this year compared to last.”

For a second week running, the top performing directorate was fashion with sales edging up 0.2% year-on-year. The best performing categories were menswear, up 5.9%, and beauty, wellbeing and leisure, up 1.1%.

Within the home directorate, sales were down 3.8% on last year, although home accessories and gift sales posted an increase of 4.5%, primarily due to strong sales in outdoor living and gift food.

Electricals and home technology sales declined by 2.6% despite “encouraging” results in the small electrical and vision categories which were both up on last year.

Murphy added: “Looking ahead at future opportunities, we are fast approaching the start of the Rugby World Cup, we have just launched the new Home catalogue, refreshed the Interior Design Hub and in fashion we are seeing lots of newness coming through across both shops and online. We also have building excitement in Birmingham with occupation of our new shop beginning next week.”

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