The Jubilee celebrations lift Lewis

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A COMBINATION of Diamond Jubilee fever and the wet weather buoyed sales at department store chain John Lewis last week, figures showed yesterday.

The retailer posted an increase of 18.1 per cent on last year, helped by two bank holidays, half-term and promotions of Jubilee and Olympics-themed products.

Electricals and home technology purchases showed the biggest increase, with television sales up 65 per cent as households prepare for a summer of sport.

City analysts said the latest figures were impressive but unlikely to reflect the rest of the retail sector or prospects going forward.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said: “It appears that consumers need a boost such as a major event or extended good weather to significantly step up their spending.”

Waitrose, the supermarket division of the John Lewis Partnership, saw a more sluggish 2.3 per cent rise in sales compared to last year. Demand for barbecue meats rose by 34 per cent.