John Lewis drives Christmas sales up 14.8%

Coffee machines were amongst the products that helped John Lewis smash sales records this Christmas, the retailer revealed today.

John Lewis drives Christmas sales up 14.8%

Publishing its trading update for the five weeks to December 29, the department store business said total sales were £684.8m – 14.8% up on last year, while like-for-like sales were up 13.0%. And, when compared with two years ago, total sales rose 25.5% and like-for-likes 20.1%.

The fourth week of the period, to Saturday December 22, saw record sales of £157.8m, up 26.5% on 2011 and breaking through the £150m barrier for the first time.

Home department sales were the least robust over the five weeks, up just 6.2%, although John Lewis said coffee machines had been amongst the best performers across all departments. Electricals and Home Technology put on 30.9% and Fashion and Beauty 10.4%.

The major star, though, was online sales, which leapt 44.3% year-on-year over the period. Online Clearance, which began at 5pm on Christmas Eve, started with a record hour, with orders up 70% on last year. now accounts for a quarter of the total John Lewis business.

Clearance started in-store on December 27, with first-day sales of £31.7m again breaking records.

The retailer said more customers than ever before chose to shop on on Christmas Day. The site saw visitor numbers up by 24% and sales up 40% on last year. Whilst traffic dipped between 1pm and 4pm as people ate their Christmas lunch and watched the Queen’s speech, sales peaked at 9pm-10pm.

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