For the second successive week department store group John Lewis has posted double digit sales increases, with all product categories achieving growth.
Results released today show that in the seven days to April 14th 2012 total sales for the retailer reached £61.09 million, a yearly increase of 13.9 per cent.
This follows on from the impressive 27 per cent rise recorded during Easter week and was helped by poor weather and a huge demand for home technology products as the digital switchover of the television signal for London finally arrived.
Its electricals & home technology (EHT) division saw a massive 49.4 per cent year-on-year rise in sales while fashion & home departments reported growth of 0.9 per cent and 3.9 per cent respectively despite losing a day of trading.
Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis, commented: “Undoubtedly we enjoyed some advantages; most notably the miserable bank holiday weather on Easter Monday which got the week off to a flying start.
“In technology we also had the added impetus of the digital switchover in London. However, the underlying level of demand was also very healthy, reflected in the fact that 19 of our shops beat last year, even though all but our Scottish businesses traded with one day less than the previous year.”
Street said that though the official 14 per cent growth was impressive, on a truer comparison with the six days following Easter last year sales were up an even more emphatic 25 per cent.
The John Lewis at home stores of Poole, Croydon, Swindon & Tunbridge Wells all delievered double digit trading increases, while full-line stores in Reading & Cribbs Causeway (Bristol) also performed strongly with growth of 12.7 per cent & 9.9 per cent respectively.
Street added: “So the first peak of the year has been well navigated. Attention now turns to opening John Lewis at home in Newbury today, and then to the summer events.
“With London 2012 Shops open in all our branches and online, and the ‘Celebration of Britain’ products in place, we look well set to capture the nation’s mood.”
UK grocery chain Waitrose, which is the sister company to John Lewis, coped less well with the loss of a trading day as sales fell 5.6 per cent last week.
When compared to the six days following Easter last year branch sales were up 4.4 per cent, but 2011’s warm April still meant that trading was more subdued this year.