John Lewis sluggish again in latest week but fashion rises

John Lewis Partnership saw its total sales rising 2.5% in the latest seven days, reaching almost £213 million. But it was boosted by a stronger rise at the Waitrose supermarkets chain, which left the John Lewis department stores operation with a fairly anaemic 0.7% increase.


John Lewis


But while 0.7% may not look that great, at least it’s higher than the average 0.4% rise when the whole 24 weeks of the fiscal year to date are taken into account.

So what exactly happened in the week to January 12? The tiny sales rise was “driven by customers continuing to shop Clearance offers and beginning to shop Spring/Summer ranges,” the company said. Given that latter point, it was no surprise that the Fashion department outperformed. Its sales managed to rise 4.9% with Womenswear Accessories having a “particularly strong week.”

And Childrenswear, Nursery and Haberdashery (which aren’t departments the company usually talks about in its weekly reports) also performed well with sales up 7.3%.

The Home department was an under-performer once again with its sales down 0.5%, although Gifts, Cook and Dine had a strong seven days with sales rising 8.2% on last year driven by Clearance and Special Buy products. Furniture and Flooring sales were up 2.5% on last year.

And while Electrical and Home Technology sales were down 1.2%, Communications Technology rose as much as 7.1%, primarily due to strong demand for Apple products.

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