Cold weather, Valentine’s Day & an early school half term all helped to push year-on-year sales growth into double-digits last week at department store chain John Lewis, results revealed today.
The mid-term school holiday fell a week earlier than last year resulting in comparatively strong midweek trading, and although business slowed over the weekend, during the full seven days ending February 18th 2012 sales grew 13 per cent compared to last year.
Electricals & home technology was the most popular department at John Lewis over the week with sales up 17 per cent, while homewares and fashion saw trading jump 10.1 per cent and 13.1 per cent respectively.
Maggie Porteous, Head of Selling Operations for New Formats at John Lewis, said: “Twenty two of our shops beat their scores from last year with Poole leading the charge at +29.9 per cent, taking every possible advantage from the Meridian area digital switchover.
“Four other branches achieved double-figure increases – at Trafford the half term footfall was particularly strong, at Croydon it was also a story of digital switchover, and the Southwest performed strongly with both Cribbs Causeway and Cardiff achieving a strong uplift in childrenswear.
“Johnlewis.com also had a fabulous week with an overall increase of +38 per cent on last year, the team having worked hard to launch new products, and proud to have over 100,000 product reviews from customers on the site.”
Thanks to Valentine’s Day, gifting sales were also very strong, with demand for chocolates & Champagne lifting gift food trading up an impressive 79.8 per cent year-on-year.
Sales across the John Lewis Partnership, which includes supermarket chain Waitrose, rose 9.6 per cent for the week to total £164.44 million compared to £150.08 million in 2011.
Waitrose posted a 7.8 per cent sales rise for the period with the impending pancake day adding to the other seasonal effects to boost performance.