John Lewis has reported that last week (to December27) – the final week of its Christmas period – saw ‘the shifting patterns in customer shopping play out yet again’.
The department store group’s online director Mark Lewis explained: “Customers did indeed turn to store for the final few days of shopping, with sales particularly strong for our Oxford Street flagship and good performances from Exeter and Stratford City.
“It was also the week when our Click & Collect service broke records. We had billed 2014 as the ‘Click & Collect Christmas’ and it certainly came to pass. We were able to extend our order cut-off until 8pm on the December 23 for collection on Christmas Eve and saw last minute customers take advantage of the convenience this provided. The number of parcels sent into our John Lewis and Waitrose shops were up 30% on this time last year.”
Home performed well, and there was “a great finish” for gifting categories, with strong sales of gift food helping the home accessories & gifts buying group finish 27% up on last year. Cooking & dining also “finished very well”, with sales up 9%.
Clearance got off to a flying start online on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas Day orders were up 19%, with sales peaking at 9pm as customers shopped from their mobile devices.
Mark Lewis concluded: “The fall of the calendar is such that we would expect to see some of this clearance demand fall into next week’s numbers, so we will need to review progress over a longer time frame. However, early indications are that our bargains in the key areas of furniture and textiles are being warmly received by customers.”