John Lewis reported “solid” sales last week driven by a strong performance in its online and electricals divisions.
John Lewis posted a 4.9% year-on-year increase in sales to £66.4m in the week to February 1.
Online sales rose 20% driven by strong traffic from mobile devices and an increasing number of shoppers using its click-and-collect option to pick up goods from Waitrose stores.
John Lewis recorded a 6.8% rise in electricals sales as audio and appliances drew custom.
Home sales rose 4.6% as shoppers sought out furniture, particularly in its beds and dining departments.
Fashion sales increased 3.2% as childrenswear, menswear and nursery drove John Lewis’ performance.
Its home branches in Poole, Tamworth, Swindon and Chichester performed strongly, along with London stores on Oxford Street and Chelsea. However, Knight & Lee, Tunbridge Wells and Newcastle were among a cluster of stores to deliver double-digit year-on-year sales declines.
John Lewis retail operations director Simon Russell said: “New stock in all assortments continues to arrive in volume, transforming the look and feel of both the website and shops. There is definitely a hint of spring in the air.”
Sales at Waitrose rose 7.1% to £118.8m last week as it achieved record online orders and attracted custom from those celebrating Chinese New Year.
Waitrose online recorded its largest-ever number of orders in one week with sales up more than 120% year on year in the final week of its gift of a free bottle of Champagne with each customer’s first order in January. Online orders were 36% higher than Christmas week.
Sports fans prepared to enjoy the Superbowl and Six Nations Championship, boosting sales of dips, crisps, pizzas and popcorn.
Ethnic food sales increased by 17%, rice and noodles were up by almost 10% and stir fry sales jumped by more than 100% with the arrival of Chinese New Year.
Waitrose retail director Rob Collins said: “Our international business continues to see exciting growth with sales 28% up on last year, and sales at our Welcome Break shops were up by 20%.”