Home sales were down by 14.7% at John Lewis & Partners over the past week, as competitor discounts tailed off in anticipation of price drops during today’s Black Friday event.
The department store chain said sales in the category were impacted by a noticeable reduction in retailer offers for the week ended November 20, which meant it did less price matching to compete. With John Lewis’ Black Friday campaign now in full swing and reports that there are even more discounts on offer from retailers this year, it is likely there has been a step change, as it seeks to maintain its ‘never knowingly undersold’ position. Last year John Lewis recorded its busiest ever single hour of online trading on Black Friday, so it will be interesting to see how this year matches up.
Also in home, the enduring mild weather also had an effect on sales of warm bedding products, such as high-tog duvets. However, future orders for curtains and blinds, and furniture and flooring grew by 11% and 4.1% respectively.
Electrical and home technology sales were down 6.3% on the same week last year when John Lewis had strong promotions. Sales grew when competitor Black Friday deals launched and we have launched our own Black Friday deals today.
Total sales for the week across the retail business were down 6.8% on the same period last year, although director for digital, Sienne Veit described it as “a week of two halves”, adding: “Early in the week sales continued to be impacted by the mild weather, but they increased significantly at the end of the week as a result of us launching our Christmas advert on Thursday, and a big increase in Black Friday deals on Friday and Saturday, which we price matched.”
Following the launch of John Lewis’ Christmas advert, which tells the story of performer Elton John, pianos were the most searched for item on the retailer’s website, and it reportedly sold 100 pianos and keyboards in just three days.