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John Lewis' outdoor living sales boosted by new catalogue

Published: 5 April 2012
Department store chain reported sales uplift in warmer weather last week, with strong sales of garden furniture and barbecues, while its Poole 'at home' store recorded the highest figures across the retail chain.
While home categories had a variable week, as Mother's Day impacted sales in accessories and gifts, furniture gave a stronger performance, as the good weather reminded customers that Easter is a time to be in the garden, said John Lewis.

The department store group's new outdoor assortment performed well, with sales of garden furniture and barbecues particularly strong in the seven days to March 31. The sales boost was attributed to the recent launch of John Lewis' new outdoor living catalogue, which, this year, has a stronger focus on entertaining in the garden.

"We've changed the emphasis a little this year," explained Brand Creative publication planning manager Keith Phillips. "We've focused on outdoor entertaining, as we expect lots of our customers will be celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June with some alfresco dining. And of course there'll be more of the same once the London 2012 Games get under way."

To reflect this, the catalogue opens with a British party theme, with seating through to tableware ranges featuring the Union Jack design,.

John Lewis has also launched its own furniture set in the catalogue this year, with coloured accessories to tie in with other ranges across the outdoor living collection. The steel powder-coated range will retail for just £299 for a full set comprising four cushioned chairs, a table and parasol.

Sales across the group were up 2.4% for the week compared with last year, while its 'at home' store in Poole was the top performing branch, beating last year by +19%.

Johnlewis.com had an outstanding week, up 37% on last year and accounting for over a quarter of all John Lewis sales for the first time this year. It also saw its busiest trading day of the year on Monday. All directorates performed well online, especially large electricals, suggesting John Lewis customers are not shying away from big-ticket purchases.

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