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Holidays herald a sales boost for John Lewis

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Two bank holidays, half term and a sports filled summer all helped boost year-on-year sales at department store chain John Lewis by 18.1 per cent sales last week.

Rainfall coinciding with the bank holiday period drove customers in store, driving significant footfall to the retailer’s stores in many areas of the country, in particular Swindon which saw a rise of over 50.9 per cent during the week, and also its Poole store with +38.9 per cent, Croydon with +37.7 per cent, Leicester with +30.3 per cent and Trafford where sales increased 28.3 per cent.

London branches however were impacted by people lining the length of the Thames to catch sight of the Queen rather than spending time on the high street.

Fashion saw only a small rise compared to other departments of 3.9 per cent where as Communication Technology saw a rapid popularity for shoppers buying television sets to watch live events from their sofas, with ‘Vision’ department sales rising 65 per cent.

Maggie Porteous, Head of Selling Operations for New Formats at John Lewis, said: “The going was much tougher in the Fashion areas, apart from in Menswear where both Own Brand and Formalwear traded strongly.

“With the Jubilee now behind us, our thoughts are turning to the summer of sport and in particular Euro 2012 and London 2012. These events, coupled with our own clearance, which starts next week, mean that we should be able to keep up great momentum on the sales front.”

Those who did not brave the outdoors were shopping on the retailer’s website with johnlewis.com achieving an increase of 47.2 per cent, with the highest demand on the site over the week being for outdoor furniture.

Despite the onset of heavy downpours, Waitrose shoppers kept up the party atmosphere by purchasing bottled lager, wines and ciders in time for Euro 2012, giving the upmarket grocer a 2.2 per cent rise compared to last year for the week.

Waitrose, which is the sister organisation to John Lewis, also saw strong demand for special editions of publications celebrating the Jubilee.

Mark Williamson Commercial Director at Waitrose adds, “The celebratory mood and start to Euro 2012 helped boost sales of alcohol last week with bottled lager lifted by 60 per cent, cider by 32 per cent and wine by 20 per cent.

“Increased leisure time during the half-term week gave people plenty of time to put their feet up with newspapers and magazines benefiting and some titles’ souvenir editions seeing a 78 per cent spike in demand.”

Published on Friday 15 June by Editorial Assistant

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