De­mand for last-minute gifts pro­vides boost for John Lewis

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS / NEWS -

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.

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