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John Lewis sees sales drop in half-term week


Department store John Lewis has reported a drop in total sales for the week ending October 29th 2011, as sales in all but one of its nationwide stores fell compared to the same period last year.

The retailer continues to claim that warm weather badly affects trading, as total sales dropped 0.7 per cent year-on-year, a stark contrast to the same week in 2010 and particularly surprising considering that half-term fell at this time.

Online results remained positive, as saw sales rise 10.8 per cent, although even this result is disappointing compared to the 21.8 per cent increase the week before.

For the second consecutive week, Bluewater shopping centre recorded the biggest loss, with sales down 16.1 per cent on last year, while the Peterborough and Watford stores saw a 14.1 per cent and 12.4 per cent decrease in trade respectively.

While John Lewis’s Home and Electricals & Home Technology departments reported negative results, Fashion saw a slight increase of one per cent. Although overall Home had a difficult week, the only store to gain positive results was the retailer’s ‘at home’ outlet in Swindon as it celebrated its first anniversary, posting a 0.5 per cent sales increase on last year.

Trade around the branches was slower with the best results coming from Leicester, Cambridge and Trafford.

Tim Harrison, Head of Commercial Format and Implementation at John Lewis, claimed that some disruption was caused by development work to aid the retailer’s significant expansion plans, but this is now winding down.

“We are now coming out of all the refurbishment and development work across the estate and this is a real opportunity to impress customers with our finest presentation and product in those areas,” he commented.

“Finally, we have completed the rollout of click & collect into a further 60 Waitrose shops to support us as we head into Christmas.”

Harrison also pointed out that the opening of a children’s toy floor at the company’s flagship store on Oxford Street is likely to boost sales in the weeks to come.

Published on Friday 04 November by Editorial Assistant

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