Sales at John Lewis and Waitrose last week were boosted by the milder weather across the UK.
John Lewis sales jumped 6.6% to £72.8m in the week to March 8. The department store retailer said it was a “fantastic” result, as the comparatives were tough becasue it included Mother’s Day sales.
John Lewis said fashion sales were “strong”, up 3.5% and women’s accessories were up 10.5% year-on-year driven by a surge in sunglasses purchases, which were up 71%.
Sales across home increased 0.9% on last year as furniture sales soared 15.2%, while upholstery sales increased 18.5%.
Electricals and home technology recorded “outstanding” sales in the week, up 15% and double-digit growth in most areas. John Lewis said customers are back to buying laptops as computing increased 36%, while tablet sales grew 39% online.
Online sales surged 37% driven by womenswear which was 60% up as customers start buying new items for their spring wardrobe. Online beauty sales surged 40% driven by John Lewis price-matching through its Never Knowingly Undersold campaign.
John Lewis buying director Meg Lustman said: “Overall a strong performance, with it all to play for and Mother’s Day at the end of the month. Stock availability is good, and with the warm weekend ahead everything is in place for another great week.”
Despite the warm weather Waitrose sales excluding petrol fell 0.7% last week to £119.5m due to Mother’s Day falling in last year’s comparative week.
The grocer recorded a surge in gardening sales with a 700% increase in garden plant sales, while the new Alan Titchmarsh range of Grow Your Own products sold well, led by raspberries, strawberries and rhubarb, according to Waitrose.
Sales of burgers soared by 121% and sausages were up 38% as customers had their first barbeque of the year. Waitrose added that soft fruit sales jumped 12% for the week.