John Lewis reports ‘shifting patterns’

DEPARTMENT store chain John Lewis said sales during Christmas week fell 1.4 per cent amid “shifting patterns in customer shopping” - coming after the retailer enjoyed a strong Black Friday performance at the end of November.

The employee-owned firm said revenue for the week to December 27 stood at £126.2m, dragged down by electrical goods’ sales which fell 14.7 per cent compared with a year ago. Sales had also fallen year-on-year, by 2.4 per cent, in the previous week.

In the week to November 29, which included Black Friday, sales jumped 21.8 per cent to a record £179.1m - fuelled by electrical sales which rocketed by 40.9 per cent - and surpassing the previous high set in the pre-Christmas week in 2013.

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Online director Mark Lewis said: “The final week of our Christmas period saw the shifting patterns in customer shopping play out yet again.”

The weaker performance in the week before Christmas at John Lewis came despite a record 30 per cent rise in click-and-collect online orders during the period and a 19 per cent lift in online clearance sales on Christmas Day. During the week the chain said its strong performers were women’s accessories and beauty sales, up 25 per cent, and menswear and sports, both up eight per cent.

The firm added that due to calendar timings it expects to see some of its sales demand show up in the following week’s numbers.