April showers on the service sector

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John Lewis, Britain’s biggest department store group, posted another strong rise in weekly sales, driven by strong demand for technology products and the start of its clearance sale.

The employee-owned retailer said its sales increased 9.9 per cent year-on-year to £76.12m in the week to June 23.

Sales of electricals and home technology items jumped 28.2 per cent, fashion revenues rose 6.9 per cent and homewares sales were up 1.6 per cent.

“Our performance in electricals continues to delight,” John Lewis’ buying and brand director Peter Ruis said.

“Much of the strength in this area comes from customers continuing to buy into our new technology offer with our communication technology department delivering a 78.2 per cent increase.

“This was powered by our largest-ever week on Apple and a 20 per cent increase in e-reader sales as customers prepare for holidays.”