John Lewis weekly department store sales up 3.0 percent

18 Dec, 2015 10:22 am

LONDON – John Lewis, Britain’s biggest department store chain, said on Friday its sales rose 3.0 percent year-on-year in the week to Dec. 12, driven by strong demand for technology items.

The employee-owned firm said sales totalled 155.2 million pounds.

Sales in John Lewis’ electricals and home technology division rose 7.7 percent, while sales in its homewares department were up 2.9 percent.

However, fashion disappointed, with sales down 0.4 percent, reflecting Britain’s unseasonably mild winter.

“Despite the mild weather it was a strong gifting week and as we go into the last shopping weekend before Christmas the indication from our customers is that there is still a lot of shopping to be done,” said retail director Mark Lewis.

John Lewis is the only major British retailer to publish weekly sales data, providing the most up-to-date snapshot of shopping trends.

Britons’ spending power has benefited over the past year from a pick-up in earnings when inflation is hovering around zero and interest rates are still at record lows.

Official data published on Thursday showed British retail sales jumped in November as shoppers bought more than expected ahead of Christmas, pointing to strong consumer demand boosting the economy as a whole into the end of 2015. -Reuters

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