Total sales for John Lewis were down 5.1% last week (to March 28) compared with the same week last year.
The department store group’s buying & brand director Paula Nickolds said: “The month ended with a difficult week to read. Total shop sales were down 5.1% versus the same week last year, which saw the run-up to Mother’s Day along with significantly more marketplace promotional activity. Cooler weather than this time last year also meant a softer start to spring and summer wardrobe shopping. That said, it was a creditable 12% rise versus last week.”
Shop results reflected slower footfall but the John Lewis At Home stores led the way, with Ipswich up 7.6%, Exeter up 5.9% and Chichester up 3.7%. Online sales were up 5.4%, with Click & Collect up 14%.
Paula Nickolds commented: “Given the trading comparatives, Home delivered a great result at -0.6%. In particular, Home Accessories and Gifts saw Easter ranges selling well, while Furniture was up 4% driven by Beds and Bedroom at 13% up. While EHT (Electricals & Home Technology) was down 1.8%, there was plenty to be encouraged by. Tablets and computing had their strongest week of the half, while some customers were clearly focused on spring cleaning with Dyson vacuum cleaners performing well.”
She concluded: “This week we’re into the final run-up to Easter and we’re well set across the business, particularly in-store. We have lots of activity planned including Easter Egg hunts, exclusive evenings for my John Lewis customers and double points for all partnership card customers.”