John Lewis weekly department store sales up 7 percent

23 Dec, 2015 10:19 am

LONDON – John Lewis, Britain’s biggest department store chain, said on Wednesday its sales rose 7 percent year-on-year in the week to December 19, driven by a 30.3 percent jump in online sales.

The employee-owned firm said sales totalled 171.8 million pounds.

Sales in the firm’s electricals and home technology department rose 16.2 percent, while sales in the home division were up 5.1 percent.

Fashion sales rose 1.9 percent despite mild weather meaning sales of cold weather clothing were down.

“Customers clearly want to keep shopping right through to Christmas Eve, and with the final few shopping days left we are expecting our shops to be incredibly busy as people are off work,” said John Lewis Managing Director Andy Street.

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

It has outperformed rivals for the last six years, helped by a strong online offering, modern stores and bias to the more prosperous south east of England.

British consumers have driven the country’s economic recovery over the past two years, helped by a plunge in inflation to around zero. But wage growth remains weak and has not recovered its levels of before the financial crisis.

British retail sales grew slightly less than expected in the run-up to Christmas and the outlook for January was weak, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed on Monday. -Reuters

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