Only two of John Lewis’s store network reported year-on-year sales rises last week, as the bad weather and tough comparisons with 2010 had an impact on trading across the UK.
In the seven days to May 28th the Poole at home outlet recorded a sales increase of 13.7 per cent compare to the same week last year, while the department store group’s Oxford Street flagship saw trading rise by 0.3 per cent.
The John Lewis website remained very popular with customers, as sales jumped 24 per cent, but overall trade for the retailer was down 0.8 per cent year-on-year.
Homewares saw sales grow 2.1 per cent, but fashion and electricals & home technology (EHT) were down 1.1 and 4.4 per cent respectively.
Lesley Ballantyne, Director, Operational Development at John Lewis, said: “Our trade levels were just a whisker short of last year at -0.8 per cent which was a credible result given we had a very good week of weather against us last year and this year there was rain and even hail in parts of the UK.
“We also have tough comparisons in EHT to contend with due to buoyant sales of TVs for the World Cup.”
After such a strong 2010 at John Lewis when its department stores saw operating profit increase 22.2 per cent, year-to-date sales growth of just 1.3 per cent highlight how tough the UK retail market has been in 2011.
Meanwhile John Lewis’s sister company Waitrose reported a weekly trading increase of 7.3 per cent, with the grocer’s till roll totalling £104.16 million for the seven-day period.