Despite the renewed difficulties of many on the high street, The John Lewis Partnership has posted strong sales rises for the second week running this morning.
Department stores defied the gloom surrounding the world economies by reporting a 2.6 per cent year-on-year increase in trading for the week ending Saturday August 20th 2011, whilst supermarket arm of the partnership Waitrose recorded a 9.7 per cent jump in trade.
John Lewis stores growth was heavily underscored by the continued popularity of its online offering, which saw business increase 33.3 per cent over the seven days, but only five of its stores bettered the performance of the same period last year.
Simon Williams, Head of Corporate Sales at the department store group, said: “Against a background of the country returning to post-unrest normality, media reports of falling disposable incomes, extraordinary turbulence in the financial markets and changeable weather, it was encouraging to see sales perform creditably again.
“Trading was up an average seven per cent during the week although, in a now familiar pattern, Saturday refused to follow suit. This resulted in a sales figure of £53.4 million, an increase of +3 per cent on last year and +13 per cent on 2009.
“Helping to drive this growth was Oxford Street, top of the branch year-on-year growth league, closely followed by Solihull and Glasgow.”
In a sign of the demise of the traditional PC, sales of tablet computers outsold desktop computers for the first time last week, with overall electricals & home technology trading up an impressive 7.7 per cent year-on-year.
Following another familiar pattern of recent trading, homeware products fared less well with sales down 1.7 per cent, whilst fashion, with online womenswear particularly popular, saw sales up four per cent during the week.
Williams added: “Although it sometimes seems there is uncertainty everywhere from the weather to the global financial markets, what is constant is the determination of partners across the business to give great service and secure every possible sale and the result for week three of the second half again reflects that determination.”