Britain’s biggest department store group John Lewis posted a strong Christmas sales week with over half of its stores enjoying record sales days.
Total sales in-store were up 13 per cent while online sales were up 10 per cent. Its Stratford City store surged an impressive 30.8 per cent compared to the same period last year and its Swindon, Cardiff and Trafford stores registered growth of at least 20 per cent on last year.
John Lewis stand-out category performer was fashion while trade in Beauty and Women’s Accessories was positive. It said consumer demand for its clearance sale, which began at 5pm on Christmas Eve, was strong with a surge of Boxing Day traffic from smartphone and tablets noted.
However, the figures were distorted by the fact that Christmas fell a day later this year which benefited the week beginning 22 December by an extra day.
Director, Retail Operations Development, Simon Russell said Click & collect was the fulfilment route of choice with more than half of online orders collected in John Lewis shops.
“As we enter 2014 our focus for the next few weeks will be on inspiring customers with our new season’s stock while ensuring a good performance in our key Clearance assortments can support and deliver a strong final trading period for the year.”
The results come as managing director Andy Street revealed to the Daily Telegraph that the department store is aiming to open 65 stores by 2023, up from its current batch of 40. He also wants to open the retailer’s first overseas store and plans to launch a French website.
Feilim Mackle, Director of Sales and Service at O2, said the contrasting fortunes of Debenhams and John Lewis illustrates just how important mobile and online shopping has become to a retailers’ revenue.
“We are increasingly becoming a nation of smart shoppers, who, armed with mobiles and tablets have come to expect a seamless online and offline shopping experience,” he said.