John Lewis department stores had the biggest percentage increase in sales last week of any seven-day period of this financial year, as the retailer’s excellent winter continued.
Total sales at the John Lewis Partnership rose 16.1 per cent year-on-year to £169.68 million for the seven days to January 8th, with John Lewis stores seeing a record 38.7 per cent growth in total sales.
The heavy snow in January 2009 meant low comparatives and a boost to midweek trading with sales at department stores up 73 per cent compared to last year, whilst the impending VAT rise boosted Sunday and Monday trading with sales for the latter up 68 per cent.
Maggie Porteous, Head of Selling Operations for John Lewis at home, said: “As the trading year draws to a close, what a fantastic time to put on the best percentage increase against last year.
“All of our full-line shops beat last year, with the honours going to High Wycombe with a magnificent +73.3 per cent. Trafford and Cheadle were not far behind at +65 and +61 per cent respectively.
“Also above 50 per cent were Bluewater, Reading and Knight & Lee stores.”
Of the buying divisions in-store Home had the best weekly results with trading up 43 per cent compared to 2010, whilst Fashion sales increased 35.1 per cent and electricals & home technology 38.3 per cent.
Sales at the partnership’s supermarket arm Waitrose was more muted, rising 2.9 per cent in total during the week.
In contrast to department stores, Waitrose management is claiming tough comparatives with last year and trade in meat, fish, frozen and dairy products actually fell year-on-year by 3.7 per cent.
Both Waitrose and John Lewis stores had strong Christmas trading results and the partnership’s supermarkets had a healthy end to 2010 with weekly sales up 10.6 per cent in the last seven days of the year.
Porteous added: “We are now moving rapidly towards the end of a very successful trading year. With that comes a focus on ‘getting our house in order’, be that if we work in head office or in the shops, where stocktaking is now under way.
“These last few weeks of the trading year are vital in ensuring that we end the year profitably and with a strong platform for 2011.”