Sunshine and sport put the heat on trading at John Lewis

Fabulous for sports lovers but less so for retailers: that’s the verdict from John Lewis on tradng for the week to July 13.

The week started with Andy Murray clinching the Wimbledon title, which meant that those who were not outdoors in the sunshine spent the afternoon indoors watching the tennis and celebrating. And from Wednesday onwards, sport lovers had the first of the Ashes test match to watch.

“So with the festival of sport and with the most glorious heatwave weather, it was not surprising to see a heavy deficit on trade from last year,” the department store group, said, with sales down 8.7%.

For homeware, the going was particularly tough, but outdoor living unsurprisingly enjoyed an increase of 127% on last year. Parasols were one of the strongest sellers and picnicware was also in great demand. Cooling products achieved a record week, and juicing products sold strongly.

John Lewis Director of Selling, North and New Format Maggie Porteous said: “Out in the branches there is still refurbishment work going on, and last week the new consumer electronics department in High Wycombe opened.

“At Oxford Street the makeover continues apace and our customers are already expressing delight in the newly refurbished areas. At Kingston ‘filling in the well’ and giving additional space on the ground floor continues, with the new Gifts and Stationery departments opening last week.

“The beautiful weather is set to continue, offering our customers many temptations outside. We will therefore need to work hard to tempt customers online or in-store and, once there, to wow them with our fabulous products and knowledgeable service.”

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