As the unseasonably warm weather continued, John Lewis’ sales totalled £81.9m for last week (to 24 September) – a decline of 4.7% compared with a strong week last year.
Home was the strongest category with sales +2.1% year-on-year. The earlier opening of the department store group’s Christmas Shop at its flagship branch on London’s Oxford Street helped overall sales for Christmas products increase by +28% compared with last year. Furniture also had a good week – up 9.4% – and customers continued to shop new Autumn/Winter ranges.
Sales in EHT (Electricals & Home Technology) were down 5.5% for the week. However last week’s Oculus Rift (a virtual reality headset) launch was well received by customers.
Fashion sales were impacted by fewer departments being in a price match promotion, compared with the same week last year, as well as by the warm weather. Sales finished the week -9.1%. But bucking the trend was premium watches, which saw an uplift of +51%.
John Lewis director of shop trade Maggie Porteous said: “Looking ahead to this week, John Lewis will open in Chelmsford on Thursday (September 29), which will be our first ever shop in Essex.”