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John Lewis reports 6% sales increase as Christmas shoppers descend

Sales at department store group John Lewis rose by six per cent for the week ending Saturday November 12th 2011 compared to the previous week, according to the retailer’s latest figures.

Although sales saw a slight decrease on the same period last year, having dipped by 0.8 per cent, the company believes that the results emphasise consumer resilience despite “severe economic turbulence”.

Total sales reached £76.3 million, with home furnishings, particularly floor coverings and the seven day express curtains services delivering a strong performance, while bedding sales also increased.

Christmas trees and gifts continue to sell well, while technology remains a primary focus for festive shoppers, keen to purchase gadgets for every age group.

Food has become an increasingly popular gift option, and maintains its strong position following news that gift food and Christmas shop items had seen double-digit increases for the week ending November 5th.

Andrew Murphy, Retail Director, John Lewis, said that the results show that the Christmas countdown is well underway.

“With very strong figures from last year against us, milder weather than is seasonal and the turbulent economic climate, our results show that our customers are beginning to think seriously about Christmas and making John Lewis their destination for purchases,” he commented.

“They give us continued confidence that John Lewis’ strong and innovative products, customer service and price matching will ensure our position as market leader on the high street over the festive season.”

The retailer unveiled its Christmas marketing campaign over the weekend, with its television ad watched by over 10 million viewers during Saturday night’s X Factor.

Viewers took to social networking sites to discuss the ad, with many hailing it as the “best ever”, prompting almost 400,000 people to watch the clip on YouTube in just two days.

Craig Inglis, Marketing Director at John Lewis, explained the reasons for the ad’s success.

“It’s clear from comments in social media that with only 42 days to go, for many people the launch of the John Lewis advert signals the beginning of the countdown to Christmas,” Inglis said.

“The performance of the advert’s star, seven-year-old Lewis McGowan, seems to have captured the mood of the nation with many people commenting on the advert’s focus of what Christmas is really about - the anticipation and joy of giving a thoughtful present to your loved ones”.

Source : Gemma Taylor – Retail Gazette

14 November 2011
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