Sales at John Lewis rose 15.3% year-on-year to £71.6m in the week to July 7, with the department store group’s ‘at home’ branches delivering a strong performance.
John Lewis buying director, home, Paula Nickolds said: “The continued miserable weather, coupled with the third week of a successful Clearance, saw customers heading to our shops for some retail therapy.”
The best results were delivered by the ‘at home’ branches of Poole, Swindon, Croydon and Tunbridge Wells.
The electricals and home technology category was the star, with ‘Vision’ continuing its strong run as the Euro 2012 trade seemed to be replaced by a building anticipation of the Olympics. In the home category, the impact of London 2012 was also apparent as sales of official gift merchandise stepped up significantly. Clearance, and in particular the Special Buy package, continued to have a positive effect for home, notably in bath and bed linens where sales climbed 11%.
Paula Nickolds said: “The summer months are likely to require a flexible and reactive approach to trading, as the combination of unpredictable weather and a huge influx of tourists could present numerous opportunities.”
Meanwhile, at sister supermarket group Waitrose, total sales jumped 6.1% to £109.8m despite the unseasonable weather, thanks to the ‘Andy Murray’ factor. Tennis fans toasted his semi-final victory with a glass of whisky as sales jumped by more than 12%. The more traditional accompaniment to the tennis championship was also enjoyed, as cream sales leapt by 6.8% and more than 11 million strawberries were sold.
But Waitrose finance director Tom Athron reported that aside from sporting celebrations, “shoppers continue to turn to food more commonly associated with our winter months”, with an uplift in poultry sales and a strong performance from pre-packed beef and lamb.
He added that “it’s been an impressive start at our new little Waitrose shop in Muswell Hill, which opened on July 3, as sales were strongly ahead of budget. The first Waitrose store in Abu Dhabi, managed by our partners, Fine Fare Food Market LLC, also had a strong opening week.”