John Lewis Partnership’s weekly sales took a hit after the record-high figures from Black Friday failed to maintain momentum for the retail group.
For the week ending December 1, the parent company of Waitrose and John Lewis saw weekly sales drop four per cent year-on-year to £297.05 million.
While sales figures for the week after Black Friday is often one of decline, the magnitude of last week’s sales drop is worse than previous years when compared to the 4.2 sales growth recorded the week prior.
Despite this, the latest weekly sales figures are still much better than those recorded in the weeks leading up to Black Friday, and slightly better than what was recorded during the same week for the partnership’s 2016-17 fiscal year.
Between the partnership’s Waitrose and John Lewis fascias, the latter dragged the overall sales figures thanks to a 5.9 per cent year-on-year weekly sales drop.
The department store said mild weather affected its cold weather categories, but welcomed a surge in Christmas tree sales as the start of the month ushered in the start of festivities around the country.
Fashion sales were down 1.8 per cent, while beauty, wellbeing and leisure sales were up 1.5 per cent.
John Lewis said some of its own brand womenswear performed particularly well, driven by customers shopping for partywear.
While home sales were down 8.8 per cent, Christmas decorations sales surged 9.2 per cent as customers began preparing their homes for Christmas and it was one of the retailer’s biggest weeks ever for Christmas tree sales.
Electrical and home technology sales were also down 7.7 per cent, but personal care sales were up 38 per cent and electrical accessories were also up 32 per cent.
Over at stablemate Waitrose, weekly sales excluding fuel were down 1.8 per cent year-on-year.
This grocer highlighted tough comparisons to last year, which saw more widespread promotional activity.
The retailer added that as December arrived, advent calendars increased in sales by 22 per cent, Christmas biscuits were up 19 per cent and Christmas bakery sales climbed by 16 per cent.