John Lewis said a number of factors contributed to turning last week (to 20 April) into a challenging one for the department store group compared to the level of trade this time last year and overall sales were on a par with last April.
On a positive note, fashion sales benefited from the change in weather. But the first sunshine of spring kept a number of customers in their gardens rather than out shopping.
In the Home directorate, Outdoor Living business began to pick up, The colourful April Shop spring campaign continued to be a success in all channels, with the Tony task lamp being a particular highlight across shops and online. Small Electricals sales were strong too, up 22%.
John Lewis online director Mark Lewis added: “The overall sales performance on johnlewis.com was up more than 11% and I would like to take the opportunity to thank the many Partners who have contributed to the recent relaunch of our online trading platform.
“The new platform will provide the foundations for future growth and allow us to further innovate our customer offer going forwards. For example, the new platform allows us to develop a much stronger mobile offer where our sales growth already regularly exceeds 150%.
“Finally, it was with great pride this week that we were able to share that we are now trading at an annual run rate of over £1bn online. This is an incredible achievement, not least because we have achieved it a year earlier than originally targeted!”