// John Lewis Partnership’s overall weekly sales drops 11.4%
// Waitrose weekly sales marginally declines 10%
// John Lewis weekly sales plunges 13.7%
The later timing of Easter has continued to have an impact on John Lewis Partnership’s sales, with the firm recording an 11.4 per cent slump in its latest weekly trading update.
For the week ending March 30, weekly sales at the parent company of Waitrose and John Lewis decreased to £224.08 million compared to the same period last year, when it raked in £252.92 million.
This marks the fourth consecutive week of weekly sales decline, with last year’s earlier timing of Easter continuing to distort the partnership’s comparisons of figures.
In addition, for John Lewis Partnership’s financial year-to-date, sales were down 3.1 per cent compared to the first nine weeks last year.
The John Lewis fascia was particularly hit by tough comparisons, with weekly sales plunging 13.7 per cent year-on-year.
The department store chain attributed the drop to annualised strong sales due to the earlier fall of Good Friday and Easter Saturday, colder weather driving footfall and promotional activity in the same week last year.
However, it said that this week ended a record fortnight for Mother’s Day gifts, which were up 10 per cent on the same two weeks last year.
Fashion sales were up 3.9 per cent, driven by customers buying gifts in the run up to Mother’s Day and promotions on beauty products.
Home sales were down 19.7 per cent overall, but sales of Mother’s Day gifts were up 39.5 per cent and the department saw its strongest ever week in March for outdoor furniture and barbecues, with sales up 15 per cent and nine per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, the electrical and home technology department recorded sales decline of 25.4 per cent despite strong demand for the new Apple Airpods and new Dyson products.
Waitrose performed slightly better than its stablemate with a 10 per cent decline in weekly sales, also heavily distorted by the earlier fall of Easter last year.
However, the upmarket grocer said Mother’s Day flowers were up 10 per cent compared to the equivalent week last year.