Warm weather slows sales at John Lewis
"It was a week of unseasonably hot weather right across the country, even in Scotland where record temperatures matched those in the Mediterranean," said Barry Matheson, director, retail services.
"Inevitably that brought opportunities and challenges across our assortments and shops. We were also up against last year's launch of the Apple iPad 2."
Department store sales rose 6.5% in the week ending 24 March although this represented a significant slowdown on the previous week's growth of 20.9% which was driven by gift sales for Mother’s Day.
Online sales at johnlewis.com increased by 40.6% with the retailer’s Click & collect operations dealing with 60% more orders than last year.
In the Electricals and Home technology directorate, sales increased by 22.3% driven by demand for the new iPad and sales of televisions in advance of next month’s digital switchover in London.
Sales in the Home directorate fell 0.3% while sales in the Fashion directorate rose 2% as customers refreshed their summer wardrobes.
Matheson added: "As we look ahead, our ability to make year-on-year comparisons becomes complicated by the fall of Easter. My read on things is that we are in good shape to take maximum advantage of the opportunities ahead and we have the forthcoming Spring Celebration weekend next week which I'm sure Partners will really enjoy getting behind."
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