After a difficult few weeks of trading department store chain John Lewis saw its sales rise 14.2 per cent year-on-year last week, results released today reveal.
During the seven days ending March 10th 2012, fashion goods sold well in response to milder weather and gifting received a boost from Mother’s Day, but what will please the retailer most is that the vast majority of its stores out-performed the sales volumes recorded for the same period last year.
All but seven of the group’s 32 outlets which are more than 12 months old have lower sales in the first six weeks of the half compared to 2011, whereas last week, six stores reported double digit growth and only five saw sales slip.
David Barford, Director of Selling Operations for Region B at John Lewis, commented: “Last week we delivered our best increase so far of the new half with a double-figure increase of 14.2 per cent.
“Of the five shops with double-figure gains, the top three were Poole with an excellent 36.7, Sheffield at 17.5 and Southampton at 16.4 per cent, closely followed by Croydon with 15.1 per cent and Watford at 12.7 per cent.”
Electricals & home technology items were the best selling of all of the retailer’s directorates over the seven days with sales boosted 37.5 per cent year-on-year in part thanks to strong promotional activity.
Sales of homewares rose 7.8 per cent annually following a difficult few weeks, while sales through Johnlewis.com continued to impress rising 37.6 per cent.
Fashion sales really kicked up a gear last week following a rise of just 0.3 per cent in the seven days to March 3rd, as warmer weather started to encouraged shoppers to hunt for spring clothing items.
Barford continued: “Fashion had a very strong week at +17.5 per cent. The star performers among lots of really good results were women’s accessories and beauty at 25.5 per cent, driven by our Price Matching policy.
“This was followed by womenswear which delivered a 16.3 per cent uplift with women’s brands doing particularly well with a 20.8 per cent gain - all driven by the milder weather, spring colours and our new assortments.”
Sales at Waitrose, John Lewis’ sister grocery chain, increased by 7.2 per cent last week, meaning overall John Lewis Partnership sales totalled £164.35 million for the period, up 9.7 per cent on last year.