Department store group John Lewis reported a sales increase of 1.2 per cent on last year for the week ending October 8th 2011 as the unseasonable weather in the south of the UK emphasised the north/south divide.
Northern shops fared better than their southern counterparts as a return to autumnal weather drove northern customers back into stores.
The best of the increases came from Glasgow at +6.6 per cent, Leicester at +4.9 per cent, Trafford at +1.3 per cent and Sheffield, which reported a 0.2 per cent rise.
Meanwhile, Southampton saw a decrease in sales of 9.2 per cent compared to the same period last year, while Milton Keynes experienced an 8.4 per cent drop.
Sales of the John Lewis Home range also fell, standing at -1.2 per cent on 2010, despite a renewed focus from the retailer on in-store layout to entice customers to spend on non-essential furniture items.
Growth continues to be a primary interest for the business, which recently opened stores in Chester and the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre in east London, and both locations reported a trading increase on the previous week.
Maggie Porteous, Head of Selling Operations of New Formats at John Lewis, explained that further openings next week aim to bring further sales growth in time for the busy Christmas period.
“After two stunning shop openings at Stratford and Chester in the last four weeks, the spotlight now turns to shine on Tamworth,” she explained.
“Our sixth John Lewis at home shop has now opened its doors to our midlands customers, thanks to the support of teams from across the business, and join the rest of the estate in trading its socks off in the run-up to Christmas.”