John Lewis reports “mixed week” of sales

Department store John Lewis reported a mixed performance last week as total sales rose 8.6 per cent on last year, it has been announced today.

While all three directorates reported a sales lift, Home products saw just a two per cent rise on last year for the week to October 13th 2012 though sales of bed linen and textiles saw the buying group deliver a 5.4 per cent year-on-year boost.

EHT saw sales grow 11.8 per cent on the same week last year, a “slight softening” on recent increases though the retailer noted that upcoming launches of products including Windows 8, which will be unveiled next week, has seen shoppers postpone technology purchases.

Fashion delivered the strongest results, with sales jumping 12.7 per cent year-on-year thanks to a boost from Menswear which reported a 19.5 per cent lift over the week.

Meanwhile, online sales saw a significant improvement, up 23.2 per cent on last year as its Click & Collect offering‘s sales leapt 77 per cent.

Last week, John Lewis opened its first flexible format store in Exeter and Susan Young, Head of Merchandising, Central Operations at John Lewis is delighted with the new unit.

“Friday saw the opening of our first new format full-line department store in Exeter,” she said.

“A fantastic achievement in opening in a very small time window, made sweeter with sales outstripping expectations. The store was so busy that a queue to get in was evident throughout most of Friday and Saturday.

“All departments took great sales and some brands that are new to the area performed particularly well.”

Meanwhile, upmarket grocer Waitrose reported a 6.5 per cent increase in total sales as shoppers glued to the Great British Bake Off rushed in stores to recreate their favourite recipes.

Cake coverings and decorations saw sales grow a massive 85.2 per cent, colours and essences sales increased by nearly 70 per cent while cake mix sales were up 53.7 per cent on last year.

As Autumn kicks in, sales of winter warmers have shot up, with sales of beef roasting joint, pork joints and soups up 57 per cent, 26 per cent and 20 per cent respectively, while online sales rocketed 62.1 per cent on last year.

Commenting on the effect of the seasonal change, Waitrose‘s Commercial Director Mark Williamson said: “The autumn is now truly upon us.

“The live shows for Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor combined with England‘s World Cup qualifier on Friday certainly appeared to impact sales with people seemingly choosing to spend a quiet evening in this weekend.”


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