Weather blamed as John Lewis Partnership books another weekly sales drop

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Weather blamed as John Lewis Partnership books another weekly sales drop
The latest weekly decline rounds out what has been a woeful September for the John Lewis Partnership.
// John Lewis Partnership’s overall weekly sales slide by 5.6%
// Waitrose sales dips down by 1%
// John Lewis sales plunges 12.4%

John Lewis Partnership has recorded yet another week of sales decline, dragged by a double-digit drop in its department store chain that was blamed on the weather.

For the week ending September 21, the partnership’s overall weekly sales declined 5.6 per cent to £202.23 million, compared to the £214.32 million recorded this time last year.

The latest weekly decline rounds out what has been a woeful September for the partnership, having already booked three prior weeks of negative decline around the three per cent mark.

September also saw the parent company of Waitrose and John Lewis reveal it had swung to a £26 million loss in its half-year report, and just last weekend reports emerged that job cuts could be on the horizon as outgoing chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield reportedly draws up plans to streamline office roles, cut costs and bring its two retail chains closer together.


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For the year to date, the partnership’s overall sales were down 1.3 per cent year-on-year.

On its own, John Lewis’ weekly sales plummeted 12.4 per cent year-on-year – twice as worse as the 6.1 per cent drop recorded last week.

The department store said last week’s warmer weather impacted sales of new season products.

As a result, fashion sales were down 12.3 per cent, although beauty sales were up 0.7 per cent thanks to price matching campaign.

Meanwhile, electrical and home technology sales were down 11.4 per cent, and home sales were down 13.4 per cent.

Things were better for stablemate Waitrose, which saw weekly sales only fall by one per cent year-on-year.

The grocer saw sales in ambient products increase by a marginal 0.6 per cent, while chilled and fresh food decreased 1.8 per cent, and home and general merchandise sales dropped 6.6 per cent.

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1 COMMENT

  1. The current predicament that JLP finds itself in has been driven driven by investment decisions made by the board several years back. The growth of Department & Waitrose stores in the last decade has been driven by the desire to drive the top line without due attention to risk . Crazy decisions to open stores like Birmingham when one exists in Solihull spells of poor decision making, I wonder how many other loss making stores are in the mix? Someones ego was running out of check when these investment decisions were made I suspect.
    I hope the new team act swiftly and change the offer to make JLP resilient to the downturn in the retail industry, it will take time to trim the business and making it fit for purpose again, trouble is it will mean downsizing.

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