John Lewis recorded a 36 surge in sales in the week before Christmas, but then had a 9.4 per cent slump in the final week of 2016 as the timing of bank holidays impacted on trading.
The department store chain raked in £175.6 million in sales in the week leading up to December 24 due to a surge in last-minute Christmas shopping coupled with two extra days of trading that bolstered sales.
However, the week between Christmas and new year was impacted by the timing of the bank holidays.
Waitrose – which is owned by the same John Lewis Partnership parent company – also saw the same trend, with sales soaring 31.1 per cent to £109.7 million in the week to Christmas Eve before dropping by 12.5 per cent in the following week to New Year’s Eve.
However, the upmarket grocery chain said more people chose to toast the new year with English sparkling wine as sales of the tipple jumped 65 per cent against a 13 per cent rise for champagne.
The John Lewis Partnership will report figures for the six weeks to December 31 next Thursday, when many of the major retailers will also reveal how they fared over Christmas.
The news comes after Next kicked off the Christmas trading updates with an underwhelming report, warning over annual profits and that 2017 was set to be “even tougher”.