Black Friday helped deliver the biggest ever week for sales in John Lewis’s 150 year trading history.
Overall, sales for the department store group were £179.1m – up 21.8% on last year and up 56.8% week-on-week. This surpassed the previous sales record of £164.4m which was set during the week before Christmas last year. Online sales hit a record week too, up 42.2% year-on-year.
Several shops achieved record takings on Black Friday itself including Oxford Street, York, Southampton, Liverpool, Ipswich and Tamworth.
Black Friday started at the stroke of midnight as customers logged on early to browse johnlewis.com resulting in a 300% increase of traffic during the early hours of trading. Continuing the trend for mobile shopping, approximately 70% of traffic came from smartphones and tablets between midnight and 8am. For the first time ever, all John Lewis shops opened early at 8am and at the same time, online sales peaked with almost 13,000 orders placed on johnlewis.com between 8am and 9am.
Electricals led the way with record breaking weekly sales, up 40.9% year-on-year, driven largely by the hundreds of Black Friday offers available. There were significant increases across all categories on the Friday including small electricals (up 66% year-on-year), with one De’Longhi Prima Donna S coffee machine sold every three and a half minutes.
Home also saw increased trade, closing the week up 3.6% year on year. It was a record week for lighting, up 10.2% year-on-year, while furniture sales also remained strong at 15.5% up year-on-year.
John Lewis operations director Dino Rocos said: “There was clearly huge customer anticipation of Black Friday this year and we knew we had high expectations to meet, both in terms of the products we had on offer through our Never Knowingly Undersold commitment, and in ensuring that we fulfilled customer orders as promised.
“While the sales figures are attention-grabbing, for me our biggest achievement was delivering an operation which ran like clockwork. We picked and packed 87% more online parcels on Saturday than we did last year, and to have delivered successfully on customer expectation is a testament to the work of our Partners [staff] both on Black Friday itself and in our forward-planning. Our website coped well with exceptional demand whilst the atmosphere in our shops remained both seasonal and calm with customers enjoying extended opening hours and the great offers to be had.”