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UK: John Lewis and Waitrose defy retail gloom

John Lewis bucked the general gloom in the retail sector last week with another rise in sales as it continued to win market share from rivals. The business, which has been outperforming competitors for over a year, said today that sales at its department stores increased 2.6% to £53.4m in the week to 20 August. Sales excluding VAT increased 1.0%.

"Against a background of the country returning to post-unrest normality, media reports of falling disposable incomes, extraordinary turbulence in the financial markets and changeable weather, it was encouraging to see sales perform creditably again," said Simon Williams, head of corporate sales at John Lewis.

Helping to drive growth was the chain’s Oxford Street store with sales up 5.2% on the same week last year, closely followed by Glasgow at 4.7% and Solihull at 4.6%. Also key was the performance of John Lewis online which saw growth of 33%.

Fashion sales were up 4% although Home sales were down 2% on the prior year. Electricals and Home Technology had a strong week, up 8% on 2010 supported by strong IT sales.

Meanwhile, at sister chain Waitrose sales over the same week rose 9.7% to £95.9m. The supermarket chain said that its essential Waitrose range continued to be a hit with savvy shoppers with sales up 15.9% across the category during the seven day period.

Source : KamCity

26 August 2011
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