Cooler weather in the second half of last week helped John Lewis to grow sales, while sales at Waitrose also grew despite tough World Cup comparatives.
In the department store business, sales were up 2.6% on a VAT exclusive basis or 4.7% including VAT in the week to 9 July. Over half the branches delivered VAT-inclusive sales increases, with Peter Jones leading the way at 8.2%. The Scottish stores had a poor week, with Glasgow and Aberdeen both experiencing double digit sales declines.
Saturday trade in the stores was particularly strong, up 11% helped by cooler weather than last year. Operations director Dino Rocos said that Clearance stock, core product and the new season’s ranges were all selling well.
Online sales were up 20%, below the rate for the year so far of 26.2%, but click and collect sales were up over 50%.
Of the merchandise divisions, Electricals and Home Technology did best, up 9.1% including VAT, driven by tablet computers and headphones.
At Waitrose sales were up 7.2%, below the rate for the year so far of 8.6%. Three of its regions showed sales declines. Personnel director Rob Collins said the comparatives with last year were tough due to a warm weekend and World Cup barbecues.
Traditional cold weather product such as soups, pies, beef joints, pizza, parsnips and hosiery all did well. White fish had a good week too.