John Lewis Partnership weekly sales improves but still negative

John Lewis weekly
// John Lewis Partnership’s overall weekly sales down by 2.5%
// Waitrose weekly sales declines 2.5%
// John Lewis weekly sales drops 2.6%

John Lewis Partnership’s weekly sales gave improved after last week’s post-Easter slump, but the cooler temperatures played a part in keeping the figures in negative territory.

For the week ending May 4, weekly sales at the partnership declined 2.5 per cent to £214.66 million compared to the same week last year, when it stood at £220.26 million.

Despite the decline, the figures are an improvement on the week prior, when the shorter trading week due to Easter Sunday store closures led to an 8.4 per cent slump.

For John Lewis Partnership’s financial year-to-date, sales had declined by a marginal 0.8 per cent compared to the first 14 weeks last year.

The partnership’s two fascias experienced recorded almost the same overall weekly figures, with weekly sales at Waitrose down by 2.5 per cent year-on-year and John Lewis down by 2.6 per cent year-on-year.

Waitrose attributed its performance to “much cooler temperatures” compared to the same week in 2018, although it said it recorded “good growth” in a number of categories.

With spring cleaning on many customers’ mind in the wake of Easter, Waitrose said promotional activity saw household cleaning sales grow 47 per cent and laundry products increase 18 per cent.

However, the grocer’s home and general merchandise sales overall were down by 9.7 per cent.

Ambient food sales were down by 0.6 per cent, while fresh food and chilled sales were down 2.8 per cent.

Despite this, Waitrose said its vegetarian and vegan ranges  continued to perform well with sales up 78 per cent on last year.

English and Welsh wines are also up 129 per cent on last year, while malt whisky was up more than 22 per cent and imported whiskey was up by more than 13 per cent.

Stablemate John Lewis said that despite the overall decline it had a “strong” bank holiday weekend, with the cooler weather driving footfall to shops compared to the hot weather on the same weekend last year.

Fashion sales were down 2.1 per cent as last year due to matching competitor promotional activity, and home sales were down 9.1 per cent.

However, the electrical and home technology department saw sales grow 1.7 per cent due to the launch of a range of new products.

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