The recent bank holiday bonanza saw sales slump at retail bellwether John Lewis.
In the week to April 30, the combined effects of Easter Sunday and the half-day closure on royal wedding Friday meant that the department stores finished 9.2% down on the Saturday.
“It was a unique week of trade with a lovely party feeling, but inevitably the bank holidays had a detrimental effect on footfall,” said head of multi-channel content Helen Keppel-Compton.
All the stores were down, with the website being the only channel to deliver an increase in sales – up 18.3% – although even that was a step back on the previous week’s 27%.
By product sector, fashion was down by 8.8%, electricals & home technology by 4.2% and home by 12.4%.
Not surprisingly, patriotic and royal wedding items dominated many customers’ shopping missions, whether china, gift or food-related, with tea towels emerging as the fastest-selling item of memorabilia.