Bank holidays take their toll on John Lewis

The recent bank holiday bonanza saw sales slump at retail bellwether John Lewis.

Bank holidays take their toll on John Lewis

In the week to April 30, the combined effects of Easter Sunday and the half-day closure on royal wedding Friday meant that the department stores finished 9.2% down on the Saturday.

“It was a unique week of trade with a lovely party feeling, but inevitably the bank holidays had a detrimental effect on footfall,” said head of multi-channel content Helen Keppel-Compton.

All the stores were down, with the website being the only channel to deliver an increase in sales – up 18.3% – although even that was a step back on the previous week’s 27%.

By product sector, fashion was down by 8.8%, electricals & home technology by 4.2% and home by 12.4%.

Not surprisingly, patriotic and royal wedding items dominated many customers’ shopping missions, whether china, gift or food-related, with tea towels emerging as the fastest-selling item of memorabilia.

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