John Lewis has reported a dramatic stalling of sales as the key Christmas trading season approaches.
Department store sales rose 1.8% in the week to November 10 – but in the same period a year earlier they were up 14.4%.
The longer-term trend is similar. During the 15 weeks to November 10 sales were up just 2.3% compared to 15.8% in the same 2006 period.
Meanwhile, the company opened its newest outlet, in Cambridge, last week. The new department store is three times larger than John Lewis’ former Robert Sayle store in the city, features 350,000 product lines and £12.5m worth of stock.
The new John Lewis, the anchor store of the new Grand Arcade scheme in the city centre, features five floors of fashion, furniture and homewares, as well as a fitted kitchen department and beauty studio, and an espresso bar and brasserie.