Demand for last-minute gifts provides boost for John Lewis
A surge in shoppers looking for last-minute gifts helped lift sales at John Lewis over the festive period as the retailer gave the first glimpse of how trading fared over Christmas.
In the week to December 29, sales at the department store chain were up 4.5%, driven by a 103% increase in gift food purchases.
The John Lewis gifts, cooking and dining segment also had a stellar week, with sales up 25%.
The retailer said it was boosted by shoppers buying lastminute Christmas presents, adding that it experienced “very strong sales on Christmas Eve and a confident start to clearance sales both online and in shops”.
Fashion sales grew 10.7%, with a strong performance in women’s cashmere, but home sales were down 2.3%. Figures for the week to December 22 show that John Lewis sales were up 4.2%. Retail analyst Nick Bubb calculated that like-for-like sales were up 2% over the two-week period, but cautioned that this would have been “driven by discounting”.
Meanwhile, sales at sister company Waitrose rose 19.2% last week, helped by a surge in Christmas dinner shopping.