An impressive half year ended with a softer performance in the week to July 28 for John Lewis.
Managing director Andy Street said demand was sapped by the spell of hot weather and the opening of the London 2012 Games. Nevertheless, the department store group recorded a 6.2% increase in sales to £56.6m compared with the year-ago period – and a staggering 86% uplift week-on-week for London 2012 merchandise which the retailer said augured well for “an exciting week ahead”.
John Lewis’ first-half sales jumped 12.9%, with the home category advancing by 6%. Here the stand-out result was in gifting “where the team ably exploited seasonal opportunities”. Its core furnishings trade was robust with highlights in lighting, linens, beds and elements of furniture.
But the trailblazing performance throughout the year to date was by jl.com where sales leapt by over 40%. The retailer said improvements in fulfilment helped and its Click & collect business doubled over the period, thanks largely to the collaboration with Waitrose, where customers can pick up their purchases with their groceries.
For the shops, the John Lewis at homes enjoyed a dynamic half. Poole and Croydon headed the scoreboard with Swindon also building well and an outstanding debut by Chichester.
Andy Street said: “We go into the second half with confidence provided by strong momentum. We’re on course to sell huge quantities of London 2012 merchandise this week, which I’m sure will benefit indirectly from our small part in The Games; a remarkable achievement for our country.”