The John Lewis Partnership suffered a slight set back last week, as hot weather had an adverse affect on its weekly sales.
Overall, sales dipped 0.8 per cent year-on-year to £226.77 million for the week ending June 23.
On their own, Waitrose’s weekly sales grew 0.2 per cent year-on-year, while John Lewis recorded a drop of 2.2 per cent year-on-year.
The partnership’s grocery arm initially faced tough comparatives in the early part of the week, as a result of hot weather this time last year, but trade accelerated significantly as temperatures soared towards the weekend.
“Despite the mixed bag of weather, horticulture performed strongly, seeing sales rise by eight per cent. Houseplants were popular up 28 per cent and outdoor plant sales boosted 15 per cent,” Waitrose commercial director Rupert Thomas said.
“Beers, wines, spirits and tobacco had a good week with sales up 2.4 per cent. Wine performed particularly well up seven per cent with sparkling wine saw an uplift of 28 per cent.
“The week saw British cherries available in shops and the launch of two vegetable cheesecakes: avocado and lime and beetroot and raspberry. Wine in recyclable cans are also now available on shelves.”
Meanwhile, the partnership’s eponymous department store’s “clearance” got off to a good start but sales slowed at the weekend due to the hot weather.
“Home sales were down 3.7 per cent. However, in the coming weeks we expect to see a rise in sales of upholstery products as our ‘special buy’ offers helped drive orders up 35 per cent,” John Lewis product director Sienne Veit said.
“Clearance also drove good sales of lighting products and beds which were up 19 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively. Gifts, cook and dine sales were up four per cent.
“Fashion sales were down 0.1 per cent. Women’s accessories continue to be up with sales growing 6.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.”
Veit added: “Electrical and home technology sales were down 3.4 per cent. Sales of TVs continued to be up with large screen TVs selling particularly well. Strong offers drove sales of vacuum cleaners and mobile phones up.”