Department store John Lewis saw total sales rise 5.3 per cent last week as the arrival of Spring boosted fashion sales, it has been announced today.
In the week to April 27th 2013, Fashion sales grew 19.6 per cent as shoppers rushed to buy sunglasses, sandals and swimwear , while sales of shoes leapt 71 per cent on the same period last year.
Women‘s Accessories and Beauty, Women‘s Footwear, Women‘s Fashion Accessories and Sunglasses all saw best-ever Spring weeks over the period.
Stores finished ahead of last year as promotional activity including its Extravaganza drove customers both in store and online.
Stores in Glasgow, Milton Keynes and Liverpool outshone counterparts as sales jumped 14.5 per cent, 10.3 per cent and 7.7 per cent respectively while online sales also fared well.
Sales via johnlewis.com increased 18.9 per cent on last year as mobile sales “continued to grow apace”, according to Head of Buying for Women‘s Accessories and Beauty at John Lewis Amanda Scott.
John Lewis‘ Home directorate continued to struggle against tough comparatives, declining 2.5 per cent despite a 4.6 per cent rise in Furniture sales as sales of Outdoor Living products surged 102 per cent on the year.
Sales of Electricals and Home Technology also saw a dip, down 0.3 per cent on the same period in 2012 when the launch of the iPad 3 had buoyed sales.
Underlying sales remain positive though, the retailer insisted, with sales up 60 per cent against a two-year comparison.
Scott applauded the improved results and is positive about the months ahead, commenting: “As we conclude a strong first quarter our focus ahead is on trading new season‘s merchandise, continuing to provide product innovation to surprise and delight our customers and a best-in-class shopping experience through all our channels.”
Meanwhile, sales at grocer Waitrose in its first quarter rose 11.1 per cent, buoyed by impressive online sales which leapt 50.1 per cent.
In the quarter to April 27th 2013, the chain‘s established branches performed strongly and customer transactions increased by 8.4 per cent as the supermarket averaged over five million customers per week for the first time in its history.
Waitrose‘s Finance Director Tom Athron said: “In a challenging economic climate, these figures are testimony to the efforts of each and every Partner to drive our grow.”