Department store group John Lewis saw total sales for the week ending November 5th 2011 rise 4.4 per cent compared to the same period last year as consumers flocked to city centres for Christmas shopping.
Customers preparing for Christmas drove Home sales, which saw a 3.7 per cent rise as cookshop and silverware sales were strong. While the retailer reported a double-digit increase from its Christmas shop and gift food, Christmas tree sales increased by more than 50 per cent compared to 2010.
Surprisingly, Electricals & Home Technology had a disappointing week despite the traditional popularity of gadgets and digital technology during the festive season.
Total revenues for this department were down 1.4 per cent on last year, though the retailer pointed out that sales of iPads and the ubiquitous Kindle were key drivers.
Fashion delivered a particularly strong performance, as the decision by the retailer to match a competitors’ promotions on clothing led to an increase in sales of nearly 11 per cent.
Sales of women’s cashmere and boots drove this category, delivering trading increases between 30 and 70 per cent over the four-day promotion, while strong sales in premium beauty were welcomed following significant investment.
A seven-day offer on furniture saw sales in this sector outperform all others, as customers adjusted to spending more time indoors, while bath and bed sales also improved on last year.
Suzanne Given, Buying Director for Fashion & Beauty at John Lewis, said that the results were encouraging as the John Lewis Partnership enters its final quarter.
“Christmas lights were lit around the UK last week, and fireworks set off over the weekend, and our highly anticipated Christmas TV advert launches on Saturday during X Factor – it is beginning to feel like Christmas and, with a bit of ground frost on its way, we will look to retain last week’s momentum as we trade into November,” Given added.