John Lewis Partnership recorded a drop in weekly revenue, driven by a sudden drop in fashion and home sales at the company’s eponymous department store.
For the week ending November 10, the parent company of Waitrose and John Lewis saw sales drop 3.3 per cent year-on-year £237.08 million, after two consecutive weeks in growth.
Meanwhile, the partnership’s sales for the year to date dipped 0.5 per cent year-on-year, compared to the 0.2 per cent growth it recorded for the year to date last week.
At Waitrose, total sales excluding fuel were up 0.8 per cent per cent year-on-year.
The upmarket grocer said sharing dishes were popular with shoppers, with sales of its World Deli range up 27 per cent, olives and antipasti up 10 per cent and dips up six per cent.
Cheese was also on the menu, particularly local and regional cheeses which saw sales surge by 106 per cent.
Root vegetables had a good week too, especially after the launch of two Victorian vegetables – Salsify and Fenland celery – in selected shops.
The growth for Waitrose coincided with the release of the first two of its six Christmas TV adverts.
However, stablemate John Lewis had a poor week, thanks to a combination of unseasonably mild weather and a tough comparison due to a price matching campaign it did this time last year.
John Lewis said overall sales were down 8.3 per cent, driven by an 11.1 per cent plunge in fashion as mild temperatures impacted cold weather sales.
Despite this, premium women’s accessories were up 11 per cent on last year, and watches and shoes both did well, too.
Home sales were down also 11.2 per cent, which John Lewis also said was affected by the mild weather.
Meanwhile, electrical and home technology sales were down 2.8 per cent, but mobile products saw a sales uplift, as did small electrical products and hardware accessories.
Gift food was up 6.3 per cent, with personalised Quality Street tins still proving popular.