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John Lewis delivers in a 'logistics Christmas'

Published: 5 January 2015
Online sales and click and collect delivered a bumper Christmas for John Lewis, the retailer revealed today.
John Lewis delivers in a 'logistics Christmas'
In the five weeks to December 27, total sales were £777m - up 5.8% on last year and up 4.8% on a like-for-like basis.

Online sales for the five weeks rose 19% on 2013, with representing 36% (versus 32% last year) of total John Lewis sales during the period. And click and collect proved to be the delivery means of choice, with 56% of online orders being collected in shops, overtaking home delivery this Christmas.

Sales in John Lewis shops for the five weeks remained level with last year, although the At Home and new format shops grew their business.

John Lewis said the standout feature driving a new shape of trade was Black Friday on November 28, which yielded an early sales peak and was the retailer's biggest-ever week.

Said managing director Andy Street: "With Black Friday driving a higher proportion of online sales and customers increasingly wanting more convenience, this has meant a real concentration on fulfilment, making this a truly 'logistics Christmas'.

"The investments we have made and the new capabilities we have built in recent years in distribution and IT have been fundamental in ensuring we successfully navigate this changing shape of trade."

However, he added that the shops continue to have a critical role to play in the omnichannel shopping journey, and that John Lewis will be opening two further At Home shops, in Horsham and Basingstoke, in 2015 as well as the new regional flagship in Birmingham.

Dan Wagner, retail expert and ceo of ecommerce specialist Powa Technologies, said that John Lewis had "proven itself to be at the forefront of digital strategy, and the rest of the high street would do well to take notes. The fact that managing director Andy Street is planning new stores despite an incredible 19% jump in online sales demonstrates that a strong omnichannel approach is key to success today, as does click and collect overtaking home deliveries."

He went on: "With record sales on Black Friday and a high volume of online orders right through Christmas Day itself, seasonal sales have become a marathon rather than a dash. It's apparent that an alarming amount are still relying on heavy discounts to lure shoppers in-store rather than preparing for the long haul.

"It's also astonishing how many retailers and delivery firms failed to account for this in their delivery strategies and jeopardised their ability to meet the crucial pre-Christmas deadlines as a result. Record sales are meaningless if fulfilment promises are broken. The writing was on the wall and they should have anticipated dealing with higher volumes over a longer period."


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