Total sales for department store group John Lewis totalled £83.1m last week (to July 16) – up 3.8% on last year.
Managing director Andy Street commented: “Customers were getting into the swing of summer, with evidence that spending time outside and preparing for the height of the wedding season were the top trends driving sales.”
Home sales were up 1.8% and the wedding guest theme could be seen here, Andy said, with Gift Wrap sales soaring 135.5%. Outdoor Living was the other star performer, finishing the week with sales up 46.6%, “demonstrating customers’ intent to capitalise on the improving weather forecast ahead of last weekend”.
EHT (Electricals & Home Technology) sales were up 0.9%, and the move towards smarter homes continued; Audio & Connected Home items were the strongest performing within this category, with sales up 7.1%
But fashion was the strongest performing directorate overall, finishing the week up 8.7%. Women’s formalwear saw a big 45.3% jump in sales, “suggesting that summer weddings may be prompting a wardrobe shake-up. Women’s shoes were up 11.5% and accessories up 6.4%, hinting that many ladies were keen to complete the look”.
Andy concluded: “The sunshine forecast for this week will no doubt continue to feed the popularity of The Gardening Society restaurant [on the rooftop of the retailer’s flagship Oxford Street branch in London] which attracted 6,000 visitors last week alone.”