John Lewis described last week (to July 18) as ‘good’ for sales, with strong trade throughout the week across both channels finishing up 6.9% against last year.
Online continued to deliver year-on-year growth, posting a gain of 22.6%. Director of retail services Barry Matheson said: “Good availability and performance from the Clearance assortments sat at the heart of that result.”
This was complemented by an improved performance in shops: up 0.7% against last year. Nineteen branches were up on last year. Leicester very much led the pack with sales increases of 18.3%, followed by Southampton at 9.2% and Stratford at 6.0%.
Barry Matheson commented: “Across the estate it would seem that the combination of inconsistent weather, alongside the first wave of schools breaking up, really drove our customers back in to shops.”
Within the buying directorates Fashion led the way at 10.5% up, with Menswear and Women’s Accessories both posting double-digit increases.
Barry Matheson noted that Home “crossed the line” at 2% up, with Accessories and Gifting holding up. He added: “There was good news to be found in EHT [Electricals & Home Technology] which hit 9.4% and saw strong performances across both Communications Technology and Electrical, continuing the upturn in performance that we have seen in recent weeks.”
He concluded: “As we move out of the final week of Clearance, the focus now is very much on newness and bringing new product and inspiration to the fore.”