Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Heatwave drives shoppers away from John Lewis


John Lewis has struggled to tempt shoppers into its stores this week as the UK basks in the longest heatwave for eight years.

The employee owned retailer has seen an 8.7 per cent deficit on trade from last year to £64.2m, but generally the store has performed well with sales up 6.7 per cent up to July 13.

Maggie Porteous Director of Selling, North and New Format, John Lewis said: “We will need to work hard to tempt customers online or into store, and once there to wow them with our fabulous products and knowledgeable service.”

Assortments that sell best in the sunshine were unsurprisingly top of the selling charts – sunglasses were up 347 per cent, with strong results also from swimwear, linens and sun care. Parasols and picnicwear were also in great demand.

But sales of homewares fell 13.2 per cent, fashion sales were down 7.3 per cent, while sales in the electricals and home technology category fell by 3.6 per cent.

On the other hand, upmarket grocer Waitrose, also owned by the John Lewis group, saw its sales surge 14 per cent to £123.5m as shoppers feasted on food and drinks for al fresco dining.

Sales for barbeque meats were up 200 per cent year-on-year while charcoal whizzed up by 700 per cent.