A strong demand for fashion items helped department store group John Lewis grow sales by 7.2 per cent year-on-year in the seven days to February 26th 2011 (week four), the company announced today.
Fashion sales across the retailer’s UK store network were up ten per cent on last year, aided by the early-week rush to the shops from those on half-term from school.
It appears the holiday period generated a much-needed boost to trading after a slow start to 2011, which resulted in a year-on-year sales fall the previous week.
Childrenswear products flew off the shelves at a much quicker rate than week four in 2010, with John Lewis reporting a 34.8 per cent increase in sales, while children’s shoes were particularly popular.
Online shoppers also showed a thirst for fashion, with Johnlewis.com achieving “another great week”, highlighted by annual sales growth of 24.5 per cent.
David Barford, Director of Selling Operations, Region B, John Lewis, commented: “There were three branches with good double-figure increases: Cambridge topping the table at 17.5 per cent, followed by Trafford at 14.7 per cent and Leicester at 11.7 per cent.
“The start of the week was particularly strong, with Monday and Tuesday in the double-figure increases, as does often happen in the half-term week, with less buoyancy towards the end of the week.”
Waitrose, the grocery arm of the John Lewis Partnership, also benefitted from half-term, with sales reaching £94.88 million - a rise of 6.2 per cent year-on-year.
Kantar Worldpanel’s latest data shows Waitrose currently has its largest ever share of the UK grocery market, a position it has achieved thanks partly to a plethora of new store openings in recent months.
Last week was the first full seven-day trading period for the grocer’s inaugural Channel Island store in St Saviour, Jersey, where “sales exceeded all expectations”, according to Retail Director Tony Solomon.