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John Lewis defies High Street gloom with strong online sales

John Lewis defied the High Street gloom this week, with strong web sales helping the retailer to achieve a record week’s trade.

Sales hit £123.49million over the week, up two per cent on this time last year and with online sales up 20 per cent. recorded a second successive record week, with ‘mega’ Monday driving unprecedented demand that continued to filter throughout the rest of the week.

High sales came from seasonal assortments, particularly the Christmas shop and hampers.

Home goods were the clear winner, up 7.1 per cent on the same week last year. Shoppers were investing in their homes, with strong sales of lighting and furniture, particularly guest beds and home office.

Fashion was down 0.2 per cent and electricals up 0.5 per cent, driven by sales of tablets and eBooks.
The firm’s click and collect system became the clear choice of delivery method for many customers, increasing by 72 per cent since last year.

Meanwhile at Waitrose, sales were up 6.2 per cent, with shoppers stocking up on longer-life products ahead of Christmas to lighten the load before the final big shop.

Online wine sales through Waitrose Wine Direct were up 70 per cent on last year.

Gin sales rose by 17 per cent compared to last week, bottled beers up 23 per cent and cider up 36 per cent.

Frozen dessert sales were 22 per cent up on last year, and Waitrose Entertaining saw a 42 per cent sales increase.

Customers are preparing for the big Christmas day wash-up, with sales of washing up liquid seeing a 12 per cent increase on last year. Demand for cleaning products is strong, with sales running 19 per cent higher than last year.

Commenting on trade this week Lesley Ballantyne, Director of Operational Development for John Lewis, said: 'Baking festive treats and adorning homes with comfortable furnishings and convenient appliances is clearly top of shopping lists. Sales of large screen TVs, drinks fridges, bean bags and baking utensils have soared.

'The colder weather is also driving sales of scarves, gloves and hats particularly in kidswear. Girls' fashion had its biggest sales week last week while nursery also put in its best ever performance driven in particular by bedding.'

Source : Rachel Rickard Straus  

16 December 2011
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