The downturn in the housing market saw sales of home products down 5% in John Lewis department stores in the half year to July 26.
However, the stores enjoyed 5% growth in fashion sales and 1% in electricals, and John Lewis Direct thrived, with sales up 30%, as the retailer increased the number of lines available for national delivery to over 36,000.
John Lewis department stores saw total sales up 0.5% to £1.24bn, but like-for-like sales fell 1.0%.
Total John Lewis Partnership sales, which include Waitrose, rose 3.6% to £3.27bn, but pre-tax profits slumped 26.6% to £107.3m.
John Lewis says its new department stores, in Cambridge and Liverpool, are performing above expectations. And last week saw the opening of a new Leicester store.
The 140,000sq ft, four-floor outlet represents a £38m investment for the Partnership, and 700 new partners have been recruited to work in the branch.