Jan 2, 2019
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John Lewis sees Christmas Eve surge, good trading as clearance sale starts

Jan 2, 2019

Sales soared at John Lewis Partnership in the seven days just before and after Christmas. A total rise of 11.1% to almost £280 million came as the firm’s John Lewis department store chain and its Waitrose supermarkets both made the most of last-minute and bargain-hungry shoppers.

John Lewis

Waitrose had the best of it with a 19.2% sales surge in the week to December 29. But the John Lewis performance was undeniably respectable and fashion was a star category.

Total John Lewis chain and website sales for the week were up 4.5% on last year, with “very strong sales” on Christmas Eve and “a confident start to Clearance sales both online and in shops.”

The Fashion department’s sales rose 10.7% year-on-year, with strength in women’s cashmere, which was up 10%, and women’s accessories, which surged as much as 21.5%. Beauty Wellbeing and Leisure also shone with a storming 25.3% increase.

But there was more bad news for the beleaguered Home department where sales were down 2.3%. That was even though the Gift Cook and Dine category had “a great week” with a 25% rise “as shoppers bought last-minute Christmas gifts.” Gift food was also up an astonishing 103%.

Electrical and Home Technology sales were up 3.1% as customers shopped at the start of Clearance, with Apple performing “particularly well” and communication technology products also up.

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