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John Lewis reports 17.3% sales rise

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Department store chain John Lewis saw total sales rise 17.3 per cent last week, it has been announced today.

A strong sales week and poor weather saw shoppers flock to the store in droves to pick up a bargain which helped lift overall footfall on non-markdown items for the week ending July 14th 2012.

Electricals continues to consistently outperformed other departments, reporting an increase of over 37 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Those keen to pick up a new autumn fashion wardrobe as the rain continued to pour boosted fashion sales 12.3 per cent year-on-year growth with Menswear seeing the most notable increase as sales rose 15 per cent.

Momentum building for the Olympic Games has seen merchandise in the Home sector gaining on other departments, with sales growing 8.9 per cent in the Bed and Bathshop categories.

Dino Rocos, Operations Director at John Lewis believes that new ranges launched on the beauty counters assisted the sales rise last week.

He commented: “New product launches such as Touche Éclat foundation and Bobbi Brown BB cream kept Beauty sales high, while in other Fashion areas, newness drove growth as customers bought into our autumn collection.

“The weather meant that umbrellas maintained strong growth at more than 200 per cent up,” he added.

Sister group Waitrose welcomed sales from the ‘Delia effect’, boosting total sales for the week to 6.9 per cent on the comparative period in 2011.

Customers were keen to go back to basics in the kitchen, baking sweet treats as popularity for chocolate chunks rose to 67 per cent and Lyons golden syrup reached sales of 26 per cent.

Delia Smith’s recipe for baked vanilla cheesecake with raspberries and redcurrants prompted sales of Waitrose essential range raspberries to a staggering 99 per cent on last year, highlighting the positive effect that celebrity-fronted marketing campaigns have on the retail sector.

Earlier this week, supermarket chain Morrisons was forced to review its policy on how much its farmers are paid following the milk crisis, after being lambasted for its one pence per litre above price processors Dairy Crest and Arla.

Mark Williamson, Commercial Director at Waitrose said the grocer is showing its support for farmers by selling imperfect fruit and vegetables in store.

He said: “This week we’ve announced we are extending our support for British growers by selling fruit and vegetables that are cosmetically imperfect (because of weather conditions) but still taste fantastic.

“This season has been one of the wettest we’ve ever known, which has given farmers all kinds of challenges, from poor germination and crops rotting in the fields to simply not being able to access land to harvest.

“It’s important that we support farmers and growers wherever possible, which could include accepting shorter carrots, thinner parsnips or smaller strawberries than usual.”

Published on Friday 20 July by Editorial Assistant

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