John Lewis Partnership weekly sales dip with Christmas adverts yet to leave mark

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John Lewis weekly

John Lewis Partnership has recorded another dip in weekly sales, as both its Waitrose and eponymous department store fascias failed to deliver growth despite the launch of their respective Christmas adverts.

However, the 16th week in the company’s second half is traditionally the last week of lull before it sales skyrocket in week 17 due to a combination of Black Friday sales and increased exposure of the Christmas campaigns.

For the week ending November 17, the partnership saw sales drop by four per cent year-on-year £237.72 million, a steeper drop when compared to the 3.3 per cent decline recorded in week 15 last week.

Meanwhile, the partnership’s sales for the year to date slid 0.7 per cent year-on-year, compared to the 0.5 per cent dip it recorded for the year to date last week.

John Lewis weeklyAt Waitrose, total sales excluding fuel were down 1.6 per cent per cent year-on-year, in what is the first full week since it launched its Christmas advert campaign.

The upmarket grocer said products that did well include its Christmas bakery range, as well as speciality beers and mixers for drinks.

Last week also saw Waitrose launch the new vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau, which is always traditionally released on the third Thursday in November, as well as a new spirit called mezcal – dubbed the “parent spirit” of tequila that is becoming trendy in bars across the UK.

The retailer added that its brand new Worcestershire store in Evesham will open its doors on Thursday, creating 100 jobs for the area.

Stablemate John Lewis recorded a 6.8 per cent dip in weekly sales when compared to the same week last year, although this was still better than the 8.3 per cent year-on-year drop it recorded last week.

The department store said it had “a week of two halves”.

Early in the week sales continued to be impacted by mild weather, but they increased at the end of the week after it unveiled its much-hyped Christmas advert on Thursday, followed by increased Black Friday deals on Friday and Saturday.

Fashion sales improved dramatically, with a 0.9 per cent year-on-year decline in weekly sales compared to the 11.1 per cent plunge recorded last week.

John Lewis said the sales were impacted by the weather but were boosted on the last two days of the week.

Meanwhile, home sales were down 14.7 per cent year-on-year, and electrical and home technology sales dropped 6.3 per cent on the same week last year.

Interestingly, the retailer added that following the launch of its Christmas advert, pianos were the most searched for item on its website, and sold 100 pianos and keyboards in three days as a result.

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