Department store John Lewis has today reported a 23.1 per cent increase in total sales last week despite the coldest March in 50 years “dramatically” affecting sales.
Easter products helped buoy sales in the week to April 5th 2013 as department store sales saw a strong like-for-like (LFL) rise.
John Lewis At Home “performed well”, the retailer said, with its Swindon and Tamworth stores leading the way as sales jumped 77.7 per cent and 79.3 per cent respectively on the same period last year.
Sales of electricals soared 47 per cent as all areas saw an improvement while the fashion category suffered during the week, with total sales up 4.6 per cent as cold weather saw shoppers favour warmer clothing, with sales of Autumn/Winter garments rising 12 per cent on last year.
Online sales leapt 14.6 per cent thanks to the supermarket’s Price Match and Double Points promotion over the weekend on its partnership card.
Looking ahead, John Lewis’ Head of Merchandising, Central Operations Susan Young, explained that the retailer’s strong assortment of products and new campaigns are set to drive sales.
“With the school holidays in full swing, and the Shop Spring campaign under way, we are confident of a good performance across the board,” Young commented.
“Although it’s still on the chilly side, we have begun to see a glimpse of sunshine which should encourage customers to venture into our summer product and start thinking about spending more time outdoors. Stock and availability remains in a good position to support this footfall.”
Meanwhile, grocer Waitrose saw a total sales rise of 33.9 per cent on the same week last year as it reported its “biggest week ever outside of Christmas” thanks to the popularity of its Easter confectionery.
Sales reached £140.7 million, representing a 14.8 per cent increase on last year’s equivalent Easter week, while online sales rose a record-breaking 57.8 per cent on Easter last year.
Good Friday saw service counter fish sales increase 66 per cent and pre-cooked lamb sales leapt 49 per cent on Easter Sunday while hot cross bun sales rose 22 per cent on a year earlier.
Waitrose’s fine wine promotion over the weekend drove sales up a staggering 500 per cent, as customers continued to seek discounts over the holiday period.