Department store chain John Lewis has revealed today that a strong performance from a handful of its stores helped total sales rise last week on a year-on-year basis.
Revenues reached £56.8 million in the seven days ending March 3rd 2012, up 4.4 per cent compared to a particularly busy week for the retailer over the same dates last year.
Only six of the 32 John Lewis stores more than 12 months old saw year-on-year trading increases last week however, with much of the growth thanks to stand-out sales growth of 16.7 per cent and 19.3 per cent respectively for its Croydon and Poole at home stores.
Peter Ruis, Buying & Brand Director at John Lewis, said: “A pleasing performance this week saw us beat the year by +4.4 per cent. The result was all the more satisfying as our last year comparatives contained strong sales due to matching a competitor’s promotion.
“Electricals & home technology was our star performer out of the trading directorates at +16.4 per cent versus last year.
“Communication technology, with iPad and computing to the fore, drove a +21 per cent increase, large electrical at +12 per cent capitalised on some strong supplier offers and vision maximised the digital switchover trade with a stunning +37 per cent.”
Fashion and homewares divisions saw minimal growth in trade over the seven days however, up 0.3 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively, as cold weather and constrained personal finances limited interest in spring clothing items and large household goods.
John Lewis Partnership (JLP), the parent company of the department store group, announced earlier this week that its profits had slumped annually £14.1 million in its latest full-year period ending January 28th 2012, and trading has remained difficult over the last month or so.
Croydon & Poole are the only John Lewis outlets to improve trading for the year-to-date against last year’s performance, however strong online trading has helped keep overall sales 6.7 per cent ahead of 2011 for the first five weeks of its new financial year.
Last week online sales rose 29.2 per cent, only slightly down on the five week average of 35.5 per cent growth, as the launch of 7,000 new fashion products on Johnlewis.com helped its womenswear pages see sales rise 41 per cent.
Ruis added: “With stocks and availability in a good position, assortments which are really resonating with customers, and competitor activity that will allow us to show Never Knowingly Undersold in action, we are well placed to continue this performance in the week ahead.”
Waitrose, the grocery retail half of JLP, saw sales climb 6.9 per cent over the week, meaning total partnership sales grew by 6.2 per cent to reach £162.19 million.