John Lewis’ Christmas trading statement has revealed that the retailer saw both bricks and clicks break records in the five weeks to 28 December 2013.
For the period, total sales for the department store group were £734m, up 7.2% compared with last year, and up 6.9% on a like-for-like basis. Shops increased by 1.2%. Compared with two years ago, total sales were 23.1% up, whilst like-for-like sales grew by 20.5%.
Online sales for the five weeks were 22.6% up on last year, with johnlewis.com accounting for 31.8% of the total John Lewis business. Click & Collect orders were 61.8% up on last year.
Electricals and Home Technology sales were 10.7% up on last year whilst Home increased by 2%.
The five weeks saw a number of records fall. Black Friday (29 November) was the biggest ever day for online orders, the final pre-Christmas week (ending 21 December) broke the £160m barrier for the first time and the first day of Clearance in branches (27 December) was the biggest ever day for our shops and the business as a whole, taking £35.6m.
Changing shopping habits were also highlighted during December. On Christmas Day, traffic from mobile phones and tablets made up three-quarters of total traffic, overtaking that from desktops by a considerable margin.
John Lewis md Andy Street said: “This Christmas has seen trade take a different shape to previous years, with an early peak driven by Black Friday and a huge surge in the final 10 days. Many of the big online shopping days and weeks occurred earlier in the period but shops were packed in the last-minute rush on ‘manic Monday’ (23 December) when we saw our city centre shops record peak days.
“The shift to mobile devices for online shopping has been confirmed but the in-store sale is well and truly thriving, as shown by the record first day for Clearance in our shops on 27 December. With new highs in branches as well as for johnlewis.com, this has been a genuine omni-channel Christmas.
“Customers sought inspiration from our broad range of gifts and decorations. Must-have products included tablets, indoor and outdoor Christmas lights, crackers, coffee machines, gift food, Lego, hair straighteners, DAB radios, cashmere, audio streaming systems and beauty and fragrance products from brands including Liz Earle, Clarins and Chanel.
“Many also fell in love with our TV advert which has received over 11.5 million views on YouTube since launch. The soundtrack reached number one in the charts on two occasions, soft toy versions of the bear and hare flew off the shelves, young shoppers visited our in-store caves in droves and the book telling the story of the characters was our best-selling children’s title.
“I am extremely pleased with the results of the past five weeks. Our growth of 7.2% is broadly based and we expect to have outperformed the market. It bodes well for trade in 2014.”