The department store group’s buying director for home Johnathan Marsh attributed the result to ‘annualising strong sales due to the earlier fall of Good Friday and Easter Saturday, colder weather driving footfall into our shops and significant promotional activity in the same week last year.”
However, he added: “This week ended a record fortnight for Mother’s Day gifts which were up 10% on the same two weeks last year.” Home sales were down 19.7% overall but sales of Mother’s Day gifts were up 39.5% with particularly strong demand for the retailer’s own-brand Find Keep Give gift range, gift food products and Little Botanicals plants.
Johnathan continued: “We had our strongest ever week in March for outdoor furniture and barbecues with sales up 15% and 9.0% respectively.
“Electrical and Home Technology sales were down 25.4% but we saw strong demand for the new Apple Airpods which went on sale on Thursday, as well as new Dyson products.’
“Fashion sales were up 3.9% driven by customers buying gifts in the run-up to Mother’s Day and promotions on beauty products. Sales of women’s accessories were up 18.2% with jewellery up 38%. Beauty, Wellbeing and Leisure sales were up 13.6%.”