Sales at department store group John Lewis for the week so far are flat compared to the same period last year, despite shoppers gearing up for the Christmas period.
As reported at the start of the week, total sales were down 3.2 per cent for the week to Saturday November 19th compared to the same week last year but ahead by 11.6 per cent week-on-week, and this muted trading environment appears to be persisting.
In spite of this, shoppers are showing interest in buying gifts for children as sales for toys and technology for kids have been among the bestsellers products over the last few days.
The group’s own exclusive Sylvanian Families John Lewis Department Store, which featured last month in the group’s top ten toys for Christmas list, is proving to be a favourite, with one selling every 30 minutes.
In a sign that present wrapping is at the forefront of consumers’ minds, Christmas ribbons have seen a sales increase of 70 per cent on last year.
Fashion is also performing well, with animal print hosiery selling at an average of one pair every six minutes. Fashion woollen yarns have seen sales jump 106 per cent on last year, a strong showing following the retailer’s involvement in Wool Week in September which saw its flagship Oxford Street store offering ‘Love Wool’ classes to customers.
David Barford, Director of Selling Operations for John Lewis, said that, although sales are flat, last year’s solid performance has led to strong comparisons and that the group remains positive in the run-up to Christmas.
“With only four weeks to go until Christmas Eve shoppers are snapping up gifts for their children and everything they need to wrap them,” he commented.
“Sales of toys and technology products for children are already strong and customers are snapping up woollen yarns, indicating that they are preparing themselves for the colder weather set to come our way this weekend.
“We have also seen strong sales growth on Johnlewis.com this week as shoppers look to buy their Christmas products in the most convenient way to them including using our click and collect service which is up 70 per cent on last year for the week to date.”