Published on 5 - January - 2012
John Lewis reports bumper Christmas salesHome categories saw the biggest increase in the five weeks to December 31, while sales across the department store chain were up nearly 33% in the week before Christmas.
The department store reported a 9.3% sales increase over the Christmas period
The retailer revealed a total sales increase of 9.3% for the five weeks to the end of December, with growth across all three of its main directorates.
Home was the strongest performer, up 13.6% on the same five-week period last year, while sales in electricals and home technology rose 4% and fashion jumped 10%.
Online sales over the five weeks were up 28% on last year and have now exceeded £600m for the year to date. The retailer also reported a 90% increase in use of its Click and Collect service.
The week leading up to Christmas Eve saw sales rocket 32.7% above last year's figures, although sales in the aftermath of Christmas, for the week ended December 31 were down 4.8% against tough comparatives in 2010 when shoppers rushed out to beat the VAT increase.
John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: "Sales during the four weeks to Christmas Eve were outstanding. During that period we broke the record for our biggest week ever with a sterling total of £133.1m for the week ending December 17. The first week of clearance saw a very string start but, against the pre-VAT increase in 2010, it was always going to be a challenge to match sales, particularly with big ticket items."
Meanwhile, home and fashion retailer Next posted a 3.1% sales increase for the five months from August 1 to December 24. Sales in Next's retail stores were discouraging, down 2.7%. However, its online and catalogue sales via the Next Directory compensated for the decline, with a 17% increase over the period.
While the final week before Christmas saw strong sales, Next revealed that November and December sales were "disappointing", considering sales in the same period last year were adversely impacted by the snow and harsh weather conditions.
The retailer believes warm winter weather and higher discounting from competitors may have had an impact during these months, while the continued credit squeeze and weaker employment numbers are also likely to have had an adverse effect on consumer spending power.
Next would not reveal how its new dedicated home and garden store in Shoreham performed over the festive period but the figures are expected to be included in its full year results, which will be announced on March 22.
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