John Lewis today published its five-week sales update, revealing a market beating omni-channel Christmas.
All areas of the department store chain‘s business, from shops and online, through to fulfilment centres and delivery operations, have worked effectively to deliver success in a year when customers have wanted their shopping experience to be more coordinated and convenient than ever.
For the five weeks to 27 December 2014, total sales were £777m, up 5.8% compared with last year and up 4.8% on a like-for-like basis. Compared with two years ago, total sales were up 13.4% whilst like-for-like sales grew by 12.0%.
Online sales for the five weeks increased by 19% on last year, with the John Lewis website representing 36% (versus 32% last year) of total John Lewis sales during this period. As was anticipated, the Click & Collect delivery option has been proving to be the delivery means of choice, with 56% of online orders being collected in shops and overtaking home delivery this Christmas.
Sales in John Lewis stores for the five weeks remained level with last year. The British retailer‘s “At Home” and new format shops including Exeter, Poole, Chichester, Heathrow and St Pancras, have grown their business during the Christmas season. Throughout the period, the importance of shops in the omni-channel journey was confirmed as a place of inspiration and customer collection.
The standout feature driving a new shape of trade was the success that came from Black Friday. This yielded an early sales peak and impacted the shape of trade over the five-week period. It was the biggest week for sales in John Lewis‘s 150 year history and was up 22% on last year, with its website experiencing a 300% increase in traffic during the early hours of trading on Black Friday itself. All operations coped rather admirably.
Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis, said:
“This year confirmed the new shape of trade for Christmas, with an early peak at the end of November driven by Black Friday and last minute gift buying.
With Black Friday driving a higher proportion of online sales and customers increasingly wanting more convenience, this has meant a real concentration on fulfilment, making this a truly ‘Logistics Christmas‘. The investments we have made and the new capabilities we have built in recent years in Distribution and IT have been fundamental in ensuring we successfully navigate this changing shape of trade.”
Neil Saunders, Managing Director at Conlumino added:
“In many ways, this Christmas shows that John Lewis is one of the retailers coping well with the new model of retailing. Its investments and innovations have given it the flexibility to deliver in changing times.”