Last week sales at John Lewis were down 3.2% on last year to £64.56m – but this comparison is distorted, the department store group says, due to the earlier Easter this year. The retailer says its Easter trading is better judged on the two weeks of trade over the Easter period so far – putting its performance over this two-week period up 10.5%, representing its strongest Easter results ever.
But buying director, home directorate Paula Nickolds noted: “There is of course one more important week to go before we can fully judge our Easter performance. With an extra day’s trade this week and school holidays still ongoing there is plenty of opportunity for the recent momentum to continue.”
The home directorate achieved a 7.2% increase on the equivalent Easter weeks last year. Home accessories and gifts recorded record-breaking results across the board, with wall décor up 26%, lighting up 20% and gift food and seasonal up 28% over the two-week period. Small electricals also performed strongly, up 44%, with a successful ‘trade-in’ offer helping to drive footfall.
Paula added that the Shop Spring campaign has been “an exciting new initiative” with a different exclusive product available each day throughout April. Customer response has been strong, she said, with the exclusives driving frequency of visit to the stores and to jl.com.
“We are well set, with fantastic product, stock and availability, to take advantage as soon as customers start to think about spring and summer,” she concluded.