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Small electricals perk up John Lewis’ sales

Published: 25 February 2011
Department store chain reported 0.4% drop last week, measured against strong results the previous year, but food prep, large electricals and gift ranges helped boost revenue.
Small electricals perk up John Lewis’ sales
John Lewis At Home, head of selling operations Maggie Porteous said: "Week 3 was always going to be a tough one to achieve the figures from last year due to the fall of half term."

The department store chain's weekly sales report revealed a 0.4% decline for the week to February 19 to £51.24m, compared with a 13.6% increase the previous year.

The week started well, with Valentine's Day boosting sales on Sunday, resulting in double-digit increases. However, Ms Porteous said the retailer couldn't keep the momentum going through the weekdays.

The best performance came from Electrical and Home technology, with an increase of 3% on last year. This was driven particularly by small electrical, which was up 20%, where food prep "played a major part". Large electrcicals also gave a good performance, up 12% for the week.

Home categories saw a decline of 2.1% but results were boosted by Valentine's Day, with themed ranges up 18% and home accessories and gifts performing well. The heaviest deficit came from furniture, however, Ms Porteous added that forward orders were ahead of last year and "bode well for the future".

Meanwhile, John Lewis has announced plans to open a new store in Birmingham, adjacent to the city's New Street station. The 250,000 sq ft store will be the largest John Lewis department store outside London and will feature more than 350,000 products.

Managing director Andy Street said: "Together with a progressive city council and Network Rail, we are pleased to play our part in the regeneration of Birmingham city centre. We will deliver a landmark, long-term investment and quality job creation. Our optimum growth strategy includes opening full-line department stores in strategic locations, 'at home' shops and online expansion including our international delivery."

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