Department store John Lewis continued to profit from the digital switchover occurring in London & the south east of England last week, as sales grew in double digits.
Despite wet & windy weather dampening fashion sales, total trading in the seven days ending April 21st 2012 rose 16.5 per cent on the same week last year.
Electricals & home technology (EHT) was the stand-out department for the retailer, posting a sales increase of 49.7 per cent year-on-year as a rush to buy digital TVs was supplemented by strong demand for the new Apple iPad tablet device.
David Barford, Director of Selling Operations for Region B at John Lewis, commented: “Our strong trading performance over Easter continued into week 12 with divisional sales beating last year by 16.5 per cent.
“There were solid contributions from both channels with department stores delivering +8 per cent and johnlewis.com posting a sizeable +56.5 per cent increase on last year.
“Indifferent weather undoubtedly supported footfall and ensured that catering operations performed well.”
The trader’s at home branch in Croydon was the best performing store in the group with a sales jump of 29.9 per cent, while recently refurbished larger stores in Norwich, Reading and Cheadle also all produced year-on-year trading growth.
Fashion sales bettered last year’s performance despite the weather being considerably worse, with a sales rise of 1.1 per cent, while homewares reported a 9.1 per cent annual improvement.
Trading proved much more difficult at upmarket grocer, and John Lewis’s sister company, Waitrose last week as overall sales slipped 11.3 per cent against the same week last year.
While 12 months ago barbeque food and celebratory items boomed thanks to a later Easter holiday and an impending national celebration, this year ready meals, soups and hot beverages were the strong sellers for the supermarket chain.
Helen Hyde, Personnel Director at Waitrose, said: “The equivalent week last year does not provide a meaningful comparison as it was an Easter holiday week and customers were enjoying hot and sunny weather while they prepared to celebrate the royal wedding.
“In marked contrast, this year’s sales were heavily influenced by the cooler temperatures and rainy weather with warming dishes and comfort food topping customers’ shopping lists.”