Last week (to September 10) saw a strong uptick in trading for John Lewis, with sales overall up 9.1% year-on-year at £82.7m.
The department store group’s online trade director Mark Felix said fashion sales were strong at +6.8%, as some of the delayed ‘back to school’ demand came through. Children’s clothing and shoes were up 35.1% and children’s shoes were up 94%.
He added: “Our new luxe range, Modern Rarity, launched to great reception from customers and the fashion world”. The retailer’s first ever luxury womenswear label helped womenswear increase sales by 5.6%.
EHT (Electricals & Home Technology) also benefitted from the start of the new term with sales up 15.8%, with computing and tablets selling well to boost the communication technology category up by 35.7%. Windows products were up 59%, and the Microsoft Surface and iPad Pro sold well as the new term got under way.
Home sales were also up 5.2% with the launch of Design Project. This collection of pieces for the contemporary home, which is completely designed in-house, supported an increase in furniture sales of +12.8%.
Design Project by John Lewis is the latest addition to the John Lewis home brands, holding a more premium position than House by John Lewis, which launched in 2012. It differs from Design Icons, in that all products are created by John Lewis, and from Design Collective, where the company collaborates with designers who have their own practices and studios.
Design Project by John Lewis was created over two years by ?Head of Design, Home Philippa Prinsloo and her team in the John Lewis design studio.
They started by establishing a design philosophy to re-imagine familiar home staples, from candle holders to sideboards, armchairs to vases, all with ‘a contemporary approach to aesthetic’.
To continue the design studio focus, each product has been given a number instead of a name, exactly as it would in the studio of any designer. The intention is that this, along with a written insight into the design and manufacturing provenance, will help customers to understand some of the background thinking.
Design Project N031 floor lamp £250; Design Project N002 snuggler £1,799