With the final shopping days before Christmas almost upon us, John Lewis has announced that it achieved sales of £160.6m last week, representing a 6.5% lift week-on-week.
Home had a record sales week, reflected in its year-on-year increase of 0.6%. Electricals and Home Technology was -10.8%, which John Lewis attributed to ‘a sign of the growing significance of Black Friday on the shape of pre-Christmas trade’. Small electrical was up 7% year-on-year with Nespresso having a record week, posting sales up 13% year-on-year.
The department store group said the year-on-year comparison of -2.4% reflects ‘the changing shape of Christmas trade, with an early peak at the end of November’. Online sales had a steady performance at +5.5% year-on-year.
The weekend saw customers’ focus shift to shops, with stand-out year-on-year performances from Chichester (+10.6%), Chester (+7.6%) and Swindon (+4.8%). John Lewis has given customers an extra day to order Click & Collect items to any John Lewis shop, by extending the cut-off date for orders to today (Tuesday December 23) for collection in shops on Christmas Eve. This week, Click & Collect orders were up 30.3% year on year.
John Lewis retail director Andrew Murphy said: “In Home, the record week reflected the strength of our own-brand range, which is selling well right up to Christmas, ahead of discounting when Clearance starts online on Christmas Eve. Impressive growth came right across our own brand home ranges including fitted furniture up 11% and bed linen up 6% year-on-year. Stand-out performances included our Aroma Home range of hot water bottles and hand warmers, growing 26% year-on-year.”
He continued: “Last week we said it’s all to play for and that is still absolutely the case, as we’ve seen a building trend of customers leaving their gift purchases right up until the last minute. The record levels of trade in our home assortments are hard-won in what has been a challenging market. However, busy though our shops have been over the past week, it’s only in these final pre-Christmas days that many customers are finally moving to complete their gift buying and other purchases. Consequently our Partners [staff members] are standing ready for a very busy final trading day before the festive break.”
John Lewis operates 43 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, ten John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com.