John Lewis dented by sunshine and Saturday celebrations, but own brands are strong

It wasn't a great seven days for John Lewis with the week up to and including May 19 seeing its parent company's sales dipping 0.3% to £202.73 million, but the department store chain’s sales falling by as much as 6.3%.

John Lewis

It seems that while its sister Waitrose supermarkets chain did well on the back of warm weather and celebrations linked to the FA Cup final and royal wedding, those same factors dented turnover at John Lewis.

The company said that the department stores saw good sales at the start of the week “but weekend sales were impacted by the hot weather and customers turning their attention to the weekend's celebrations.”

That meant Fashion saw an unaccustomed drop, falling as much as 8%, despite an almost unbroken run of rising sales in previous months. However, women’s accessories were up 2.7% and womenswear own brand fashion sales were up 7%. John Lewis is one company that really is doing well on the back of its own brands.

Meanwhile, less of a surprise was the fact that Home sales were down 8%, having been down most weeks in recent periods. But upholstery had a strong start to the week, and furniture and flooring sales were up 1.5% as customers continued to buy outdoor furniture. It also saw “extremely strong demand for royal wedding memorabilia and party-ware from customers and tourists who celebrated the occasion.”  

Electrical and Home Technology sales were down 0.8% but sales of electrical products were up 1.4% with notably strong demand for DIY products. Sales of TVs and fans continued to be up due to the warm weather and customers planning to watch the royal wedding and FA Cup final.

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