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John Lewis weekly sales up 8.6%

John Lewis has reported "mixed" trade last week as sales rose 8.6% on the same week last year and dipped below the double digit increases seen in recent weeks.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

John Lewis weekly sales up 8.6%

John Lewis has reported "mixed" trade last week as sales rose 8.6% on the same week last year and dipped below the double digit increases seen in recent weeks.

During the week the retailer opened the first of its new format full-line department stores in Exeter where sales outstripped expectations.  Across the other stores, 29 branches delivered growth with Poole and Norwich recording the best increases as sales rose by 19.7% and 14% respectively.

Online sales at JL.com accounted for a quarter of trade rising by 23.2% on the same week last year.  Orders via the retailer’s Click & Collect service were 77% up on the year, with sales increasing across department stores and Waitrose branches.

Fashion lead the directorates with the best year-on-year growth at 12.7% as customers continued to update their winter wardrobes. Menswear sales were particularly strong, up 19.5% against last year, with sales of branded casualwear up 36%.

Electrical and home technology sales rose 11.8% on last year, a slight softening on the increases seen throughout the year as customers held off from buying new laptops and PCs in the light of the imminent launch of Windows 8.

However, sales within the Home directorate saw just a 2% rise driven by strong sales of duvets and bed linens with the arrival of the cooler weather. Lighting products also sold well with sales up 13.6%.

Regarding the build up to Christmas Susan Young, head of merchandising, central operations, said: "The Christmas assortment is starting to gather momentum and with the Winterland Pop-up Shop launching in stores this week we are in a great place to begin the climb to Christmas peak sales."

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