John Lewis sales up 12% in the quarter


Department store chain John Lewis produced another strong sales performance last week, with trading up 32.4 per cent against the same period last year.

Year-on-year comparisons for the seven days ending April 28th 2012 were helped by the later date of Easter & the Royal Wedding which both negatively affected trading in 2011, however even when these factors are taken into account trading remained impressive.

Across the first 13 weeks of the retailer‘s first quarter period, ending last week, sales grew 12.2 per cent annually, marking a strong start to 2012 despite the wider climate of depressed consumer spending.

Commenting on last week‘s sales, Ed Connolly, Buying Director for Electricals & Home Technology (EHT) at John Lewis, said: “All three directorates were in good form.”

There was a really pleasing set of results from retail, with all shops in positive figures and with strength in both regions, complemented by a great performance from at home and our online business at +69.4 per cent versus last year. So overall a positive week.”

Sales of large electricals were the best they have been at the retailer outside of January clearance, helping the EHT division produce standout trading growth of 62.6 per cent year-on-year.

Fashion sales were more subdued with sandals and sunglasses both seeing declines of 60 per cent thanks to the rain seen across most of the country, and the wider division posted a slightly disappointing, considering the comparatives, growth of just 18.6 per cent.

In home products big-ticket items received a welcome trading boost with beds, bedroom furniture, floor coverings and upholstery all enjoying double-digit increases.

At supermarket chain Waitrose, the sister retailer to John Lewis, sales for the week rose 10.7 per cent while quarterly trading was up by 6.8 per cent year-on-year.