Department store chain John Lewis has continued its impressive recent trading performance with its total sales up 18.3 per cent on the same period last year, results released today show.
While news in recent days of administration for Clinton Cards, possible redundancies at Shop Direct Group and weak retail sales figures for April have shown how difficult the market remains, John Lewis has once again demonstrated its relative strength in these tough times.
Sales across all of its divisions grew year-on-year in the week ending May 5th 2012, but its electricals & home technology segment was the standout department for the retailer with its sales up more than 40 per cent on same week in 2011.
This strong growth comes after figures earlier this month showed that first quarter sales had risen 12 per cent for the company, with the TV digital switchover in London & the South East of England and the launch of the iPad 3 boosting electricals sales.
Matt McCormack, Head of Buying for Menswear & Sports at John Lewis, commented on the weekly figures: “It seems that the wet launch into spring has played out in our favour with all three directorates trading ahead of budget and last year.
“The strongest result came from EHT with a 47.2 per cent lift on last year – and it’s not simply a story around the new iPad. Innovative product launches in small and large electrical are driving some impressive numbers and notebooks continue to trade double-digit up on last year.”
Homewares saw an equally impressive 14.1 per cent jump in its trading over the seven days, and this growth was achieved despite the poor weather depressing sales of outdoor furniture which are usually strong at the beginning of May.
The retailer’s fashion department was the worst affected by the weather but still managed to improve its performance from last year with sales up 4.6 per cent.
Online sales climbed 61.1 per cent year-on-year, while the retailer’s at home branches in Poole and Swindon saw their sales grow 35.9 per cent & 23.5 per cent respectively, making them once again the top growth stores in the John Lewis portfolio.
Only five department stores in the group saw trading decline year-on-year and all branches avoided double-digit sales drops, with the 9.2 per cent fall recorded by its Milton Keynes store the worst across the company.
McCormack added: “Omni Channel continues to be a key strength with online trading 61 per cent up on last year, including both PACT and Click & collect tracking well ahead of their run rate half year to date.
“Particular mention must go to the at home stores for their continued strong performance and to catering for an 18 per cent lift on last year.”