Casualwear boosts weak John Lewis figures, firm opens in Dubai
Once again it was fashion that carried John Lewis through the latest week with the seven days to April 1 seeing overall sales down 6% to £78.33 million. Not that the company seems too worried as it said the later timing of this year’s Easter is still distorting sales patterns.
The company launches its big Easter marketing campaign this week so the figures it releases on April 11 should contain some better news.
But for now, fashion was the big story, rising 3% as its denim lifestyle launch And/Or, and warmer weather in the UK both drove womenswear sales up 5.3%. Casualwear saw the biggest lift in the fashion category, presumably also aided by the that headline-grabbing denim launch.
The company did not mention beauty, which has been a strong growth category in recent months and it is unclear whether we have to assume that it had a weaker seven days after earlier performing strongly due to Mother’s Day.
So what of the store’s other key categories? Home was down 3.7%, influenced by the fall of Easter. However, home accessories and gifts were up 12.4%. This was driven by sales of outdoor living products, which saw growth of 52% as customers began to prep their gardens for the summer months.
Electrical and home tech sales were down 15.6% however, suffering from tough comparisons after the store ran strong promotional activity in the same week last year. But mobile phones and photography equipment enjoyed a strong week, with sales up 7.6%. Apple products in particular performed well, on the back of the launch of the new iPad and the red iPhone.
Elsewhere, last week saw John lewis opening its largest international shop-in-shop to date in Dubai. The 15,000 sq ft space is located inside the refurbished Robinsons department store in the Al Futtaim Dubai Festival City Mall.
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