Later Easter underpins John Lewis Partnership’s weekly sales drop

John Lewis weekly
// John Lewis Partnership’s overall weekly sales down 4%
// Waitrose weekly sales marginally down by 0.9%
// John Lewis weekly sales drops 8.9%

John Lewis Partnership has posted another drop in overall weekly sales, as this year’s later timing of Easter distorted figures.

For the week ending March 23, weekly sales at the retail group decreased by four per cent year-on-year, from £214.65 million down to £206.08 million.

This compares to last week when weekly sales slipped by 1.2 per cent and marks the third consecutive week of weekly sales decline.

For John Lewis Partnership’s financial year-to-date, sales were down 1.9 per cent compared to the first eight weeks last year.

Waitrose performed better than the partnership’s eponymous department store chain with a 0.9 per cent slip in weekly sales compared to John Lewis’ 8.9 per cent slump.

The upmarket grocer said its sales comparisons were distorted by the earlier fall of Easter last year.

However, it said sales of soft fruit and salads increased by 18 per cent and six per cent respectively, as the country enjoyed the start of spring with a sunny spell.

The sunshine also meant beers and mixers had a strong week along with sales of ice cream, which were up 12 per cent.

Waitrose added that the popularity of its vegan and vegetarian range continued, as sales skyrocketed by 68 per cent.

John Lewis was also hit by tough comparisons, with sales dropping 8.9 per cent compared to last year, which saw a week of promotions in the run up to Easter.

Sales at its fashion department were down 1.3 per cent on the same week last year, which it attributed to the later start of the Easter holidays this year.

However, John Lewis sad sales of own-brand swimwear were up 19 per cent year-on-year, thanks to the launch of its new swimwear collection.

Home sales were down 11.3 per cent but the warmer weather saw sales of outdoor living products up eight per cent on the same week last year.

Meanwhile, electrical and home technology sales were down 14.7 per cent, as the same week last year saw new product launches from Apple.

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter