Olympics fever continues to drive John Lewis sales

Olympics fever continues to drive John Lewis sales
Olympic merchandise continues to entice customers in the run up to the Paralympics

By Gemma Taylor 10:06AM - Fri 24th August 2012

Department store John Lewis today reported a 14.5 per cent rise in total sales last week as consumers spirits remained strong following the London Olympic Games.

Despite hot weather in the South impacting stores on Saturday, sports equipment sales grew 31 per cent in the week to August 18th 2012 and Simon Russell, Director of Retail Operations Development at the retailer, welcomed the results.

He commented: “There were no post-Olympic Games blues for customers, with the feel-good factor of 65 medals helping to deliver another winning week!

“London 2012 fever continued in shops with Jessica Ennis’s appearance at Sheffield pulling in crowds and helping to drive a healthy increase at the end of the week.

“London 2012 merchandise sales remain strong as we transition to the Paralympic Games.”

Warm temperatures did go some way to benefitting the retailer, with strong sales in garden furniture, BBQs and picnicware boosting Home sales by 7.7 per cent and the unsettled outlook over the bank holiday weekend is expected to improve footfall as new ranges are rolled out across its stores.

As summer excitement continued, online sales soared an impressive 40.3 per cent while click & collect in both John Lewis and Waitrose stores saw an 85 per cent increase in demand.

Upmarket grocer Waitrose reported a 10.2 per cent rise in total sales, driven by the strong performance across its online offering.

Waitrose.com’s delivery service saw sales climb 55 per cent higher than the same period last year as the channel continues to outperform the market.

The supermarket chain noted that orders from Londoners led to a strong month of activity, as the capital now accounts for 20 per cent of its online orders.

Hot weather saw sales of sun cream jump 124 per cent on last year while sales of charcoal and Pimms rose 82 per cent and 83 per cent respectively with summer food and drink also performing well over the week.

As TV favourite The Great British Bake Off returned to our screens, demand for home-baking products has rocketed at the grocer, with aspiring chefs causing a spike in sales of cooking ingredients.

Mark Williamson, Commercial Director at Waitrose, explained that this positive performance emphasises the supermarket’s firm position in a crowded market.

“Last week also saw Kantar Worldpanel release its latest market share data, for the 12 weeks ending 5 August,” he said.

“The data underlined our strong performance compared to the market, with Waitrose growth for the period accelerating at 7.4 per cent – almost double the total grocery market growth rate of 3.9 per cent.

“The data also shows that our market share continues to build, with it currently standing at 4.5 per cent.”

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