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John Lewis reports strong sales despite refurbishment disruption

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Department store group John Lewis revealed the best figures of its half-year period in the week ending September 10th 2011, despite negative sales growth at several stores due to refurbishment work disrupting trading.

The department store reported a 5.8 per cent total sales increase, following a 7.1 per cent rise the week before, however almost two thirds of its outlets saw trading decline year-on-year.

A two-year comparison of sales for the week shows an increase of +23 per cent, as back to school ranges continued to grow in popularity.

Whilst the retailer’s Oxford Street store saw a lift in sales of almost ten per cent compared to the same period last year, a number of stores posted negative sales growth, with its Croydon at home store the worst performing with a trading drop of 27 per cent.

Johnlewis.com had no such problems and posted a 36 per cent increase in sales compared to the same week in 2010, as strong growth continued across all directorates with the brand now offers 180,000 SKUs.

Waitrose also posted positive total sales, as the first branch of its new Waitrose Food, Fashion & Home format opened at its existing Canary Wharf outlet during the period.

Total sales at Waitrose rose by 10.7 per cent on last year, as the opening of the updated store exceeding the supermarket’s expectations, reporting a total sales rise of 43.6 per cent compared to 2010 on its opening day.

Both retailers have pointed out the significance of the opening of Westfield Stratford City, hoping that their respective store offerings lead to further growth.

John Lewis has introduced a new store concept at the east London centre, while Waitrose has opened an outlet in the Great Eastern Market area of the store which takes its name from an old part of the area favoured by locals for its traditional east London foods.

Commenting on the opening Tom Athron, Finance Director at Waitrose, pointed out that the location of the store allows the grocer to entice customers doing weekly shops as well as those passing by.

“On Tuesday we opened a branch at the new Westfield Stratford City in East London - Europe’s biggest urban shopping centre,” he said.

“Our 20,968 sq ft shop is our greenest store yet as it’s the first to receive all of its heating and cooling requirements from an energy centre.”

Published on Friday 16 September by Editorial Assistant

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