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Strong fashion sales push John Lewis back to growth


The John Lewis Partnership saw sales climb up six per cent last week to £53.5 million, according to figures released today.

After several weeks of next to no growth, the seven days to May 21st were somewhat of a return to form particularly in fashion where trading increased by 11.5 per cent year-on-year following a drop in sales during the week before.

A recent period of declining overall sales at John Lewis departments stores was ended last week with trading up 5.3 per cent compared to the same period last year. Also, online sales grew faster than the year-to-date average during the week at 28.3 per cent.

David Barford, Director of Selling Operations for Region B at John Lewis, said: “An encouraging week’s trade with an increase of 5.3 per cent on last year. This was in the face of significant competitor activity and really underlines our customers’ trust in our ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ commitment.

“The more unsettled weather was a factor, too, in helping to drive footfall into our shops.”

Liz Mihell, Managing Director of the partnership’s Cribbs Causeway store, told Retail Gazette earlier this month that the unexpected sunny weather had dampened sales at the outlet due to its out-of-town location.

And clouds and rain definitely seemed to spur trading at the Bristol branch last week, with its 4.7 per cent year-on-year growth bettered only by the group’s Trafford store where sales soared 11.6 per cent in an incredible week.

“The best overall assortment performance came from Fashion at 11.5 per cent,” Barford added.

“Beauty was the order of the week, with premium beauty stealing the show with a great result of +31.2 per cent. Beauty self-select products also found favour and returned a 16.9 per cent increase.

“Fashion was also in demand, with women’s brands showing a 21.8 per cent increase and handbags benefiting with +19.3 per cent.”

Its other segments did not prove as popular, with home product sales rising just 3.3 per cent and electricals recording a decline of 0.1 per cent, and, demonstrating the continuingly tough trading environment in the UK, 18 stores still saw business fall year-on-year.

Waitrose, the grocery arm of the John Lewis Partnership, continued to see good sales growth during the week with overall trading up 6.4 per cent compared to last year.

Published on Friday 27 May by Editorial Assistant

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