John Lewis and Waitrose recorded a “robust” trading week last week as the collapse of Comet and early party food orders drove sales at the respective retailers.
The partnership reported a 7.1% increase in sales to £204.9m.
Sales at Waitrose rose 7.9% to £113.2m as shoppers prepared for Christmas. The grocer’s party food service, Waitrose Entertaining, recorded a 41% uplift in orders on last year.
Waitrose commercial director Mark Williamson said: “Total sales at Waitrose last week were up by 7.9% as savvy shoppers stocked up on festive goodies early to help spread the cost of Christmas and ensure they are well prepared.”
Christmas turkey orders rose 24% while pre-orders of venison were up 42%.
The department store’s electricals and home technology division continues to perform strongly. Sales rose 22.2% in the department while large electrical sales increased 26.7% in the wake of Comet’s collapse into administration earlier this month.
Fashion sales rose 3.2% driven by womenswear, up 8.9%, while menswear sales increased 5.3% year on year.
Home sales were up 1.2% on last year and Christmas products increased by 5.8%. John Lewis said sales of Christmas trees online are ahead of last year. Online sales rose 30.8%.
Swindon was the best performing store in a difficult week in which the majority of the retailer’s stores sales were relatively flat or down on last year.
John Lewis operations director Dino Rocos said: “Newcastle recovered well after a difficult week, despite losing two full days of trade due to an issue with power. The branch traded well through Friday and Saturday and the stock management and customer service teams worked hard to take in additional deliveries and catch up with the processing, minimising the impact of the disruptions.”