Sales at John Lewis rose last week driven by its outdoor living range as shoppers prepared to spend the May bank holiday outside.

John Lewis weekly sales to May 2

  • Outdoor living “star performer” as shoppers geared up for bank holiday
  • Menswear and sports also put in “superb” sales performance
  • Waitrose sales boosted by barbecue and picnic ranges

John Lewis sales were up 2.8% to £76.99m in the week ending May 2, as “star performer” outdoor living soared 33.9%.

The retailer hailed “superb” performance in menswear and sports, which saw sales jump 25.5%. The retailer said every store registered growth in this area compared to the same period last year.

Fashion sales also performed well, rising 17.2%, while there were “stand-out” results for women’s shoes, handbags, premium beauty, swimwear and nightwear.

Home crossed into positive territory with sales up 0.3%, while gifting had a “robust” week as sales rose 13.4%.   

Online sales also saw growth of 17% during the period as John Lewis “made the most” of the May bank holiday.

Waitrose sales

Waitrose also benefitted from the bank holiday as total divisional sales rose 0.5%, driven by a 40% increase in sales of flowers and plants from

Shoppers also geared up to light their barbecues as sales of speciality sausages rose 11%, while barbecue accessories rocketed 68%.

Alfresco dining and picnics were also on the minds of customers as sales of prepared salads and vegetables increased 5% and 6% respectively year on year.  

Waitrose added that sales of celebration cakes rose 9% and champagne sales jumped 43% as consumers celebrated an extra day off work and the arrival of Princess Charlotte.

The start of the Tour de Yorkshire also influenced shopping habits, with French food and wine flying off the shelves.

President Brie and Camembert were up 40% on the previous year while patisserie sales rose by 24%.

Sales of wines from the French region of Bordeaux were also up 40%.