Department store John Lewis reported a 17 per cent boost in sales last week as half-term and cold weather drove shoppers in store, it has been announced today.
In the week to February 23rd 2013, all selling branches saw sales rise on the same week last year while the retailer noted that, for the first four weeks of its new financial year, sales jumped 16.8 per cent.
‘At Home’ branches in Tamworth and Swindon lead the way, with sales up 43 per cent and 28 per cent respectively while the Nottingham full-line department store reported a sales increase of 27 per cent on the same period last year.
Online also saw a surge in sales following the launch of its new website, up 20 per cent on last year despite the transitional change, an “encouraging” sign the retailer noted and a “significant milestone” given the work of IT and online sales teams to create the new digital offering.
As national events such as Mother’s Day and Easter approach, sales of Mother’s Day gifts soared 87 per cent last week while Easter ranges reported 20 per cent growth, outperforming home and fashion sales which each saw rises of 10 per cent on the same week in 2012.
Simon Russell, Director of Retail Operations Development at John Lewis explained: “Mother’s Day and Easter are the key season’s focus for the next few weeks.
“We have some great products and are well set to continue our good start to 2013.”
Grocer Waitrose also experienced a growth in sales thanks to the chilly weather with sales increasing 9.4 per cent on last year as sales of winter warmers such as canned and packet soup jumped 43 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.
Online sales were up 42 per cent on the same period last year and the supermarket, which earlier this week revealed celebrity Pippa Middleton as the new columnist for its magazine Waitrose Kitchen, seeks to strengthen these sales further with the imminent launch of a new service.
Commenting on the retailer’s first drive-through click and collect service, Waitrose Retail Director Rob Collins said: “The first drive-through will open at Waitrose Cheltenham in March, followed by services in our branches in Southend, Salisbury, Wolverhampton and Lincoln.
“Shoppers will be able to order groceries online at Waitrose.com and pick them up from a collection area in the branch car park in designated time slots.
“The free service complements our established in-store grocery collection service – available in 157 Waitrose branches – and will be rolled out to further branches based on customer feedback.”