The cooler weather in the early part of the week to September 21 “certainly hit the mark for our autumn assortments,” according to John Lewis.
Sales grew by 8.5% to £72.74m last week for the department store group. Online sales jumped by 22.7% with Home, Fashion and Electricals all up, thanks to strong traffic on mobile and the main website. Click & collect, both from John Lewis and Waitrose, had a very strong week growing by 56% and was the fulfilment route of choice for customers. Shops continued to play their omnichannel role by helping customers place a high number of online orders in branches.
Shop sales rose by 3.9% with two-thirds of branches beating last year. John Lewis director of retail operations development Simon Russell said: “Milton Keynes led the way, continuing its impressive form capitalising on its recent refurbishment. Watford also maintained its recent run with its new ‘little Waitrose’ clearly helping it to grow its overall sales. Finally Swindon and Leicester also managed excellent double-figure growth and deserve a mention.”
He noted that in Home (up 3%), there was “an excellent response to the new gift food ranges, along with plenty of early interest in the new Christmas assortment available online. And this season, for any discerning dining table, it is ‘cool to be classic’ with traditional china ranges very much back in vogue.”
He concluded: “The next few weeks will be key to complete the final preparations for the important seasonal peak. So far, we seem very well placed.”