John Lewis described trade in the week to February 28 as ‘very respectable’ with sales up 7.6% up on last year, helped by a strong week for online along with some competitive price matching activity.
Online was up 27%, thanks to “excellent traffic to the website and good conversion rates, no doubt helped by the price matching activity,” according to John Lewis director of retail operations development Simon Russell. In shops, Exeter took pole position with Liverpool, Southampton and Swindon runners up.
Simon Russell noted that customers continue to invest in freshening up their houses and Home assortments gained momentum, up 10%, with growth in both shops and online. Big-ticket purchases dominated, led by upholstery, beds and floorcoverings. He added: “It’s hardly alfresco dining weather but it was great to see such a strong start to Outdoor Living, giving the buying team plenty of optimism as we enter the new season.”
EHT (Electrical and Home Technology) had a tougher week but managed to keep sales just ahead of last year, up 0.4%. Vacuum cleaners were in demand and helped small electricals to a 17% growth.
“Spring is just round the corner,” Simon Russell concluded, ” and all the signs are that the new season’s Fashion and Home assortments are hitting the mark with customers!”