John Lewis sales fell last week as the hot weather hit big-ticket items and fashion categories, but Waitrose benefited from the conditions. 

At John Lewis, sales fell 4.3% to £73.25m in the week to July 23. In the 25 weeks to July 23, sales rose 4.8% year-on-year.

Fashion and homewares sales shrank by 7% and 11.2% in the week to July 23 respectively. The lower footfall had a negative impact on big-ticket items, while fashion numbers were further affected by a lack of schoolwear sales as the summer holidays began.

However, the warm weather meant that some items performed well. These included low-tog duvets, up 41% in the week, and outdoor living items, up 31.1%.

Electrical, home and technology rose 6.4% year-on-year.

Retail services director Barry Matheson said: “Unsurprisingly it was home cooling products such as fans and air conditioning units that were the driving force behind electrical, home and technology sales, up by over 3,000% year-on-year, whilst the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer also enjoyed its biggest week since launch.

“The Pokémon GO phenomenon also bolstered the category, with sales of portable mobile chargers up 86% as players sought a way to combat the app’s high battery usage.”

Waitrose up

In contrast to a fall in sales at John Lewis, Waitrose sales rose 7.2% to £131.3m in the week to July 23. In the 25 weeks to July 23 sales rose 2.5% year-on-year.

Ice cream sales soared 74%. Within that sales of children’s lollies jumped 166% and sorbet sales rose 283%.

Sales of beer, wine and spirits rose 16.9%. Within that Pimms sales soared 63%, sparkling wine sales rose 93% and rosé 54%.

Sales of outdoor living products shot up 65%, while outdoor toys rocketed 300%.

Overall, partnership sales rose 2.8% in the 25th week of the year to £204.54m, while sales in the 25 weeks to July 23 increased 3.4%.