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By
Reuters
Published
Feb 6, 2009
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John Lewis weekly dept store sales down 1.6 pct

By
Reuters
Published
Feb 6, 2009

LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - John Lewis Partnership [JLP.UL], the employee-owned group seen as a barometer of British retail spending, on Friday reported a 1.6 percent fall in weekly sales at its department stores.


The group, which runs 27 department stores in the UK, said week to Jan. 31 sales in the division were 43.5 million pounds ($63.6 million).

The sales decline was driven by a 4.5 percent fall in the home category. Electricals and home technology sales were down 0.7 percent, while fashion sales increased 0.8 percent.

"After a tough autumn, January has helped restore respectability to the half, and for the full year (to Jan. 31) has lifted the final score to plus 0.3 percent," said Managing Director Andy Street.

"My judgement is that this shows remarkable resilience given the economic backdrop and our relative strength in home furnishings."

Sales at the group's chain of 198 Waitrose supermarkets increased 1.2 percent to 77.6 million pounds, with the threat of snow lifting sales.

The snow arrived on Feb. 1 and will be reflected in the week to Feb. 7's figures published next Friday. (Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Mark Potter)

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