John Lewis’s sales rose during the first full week since the EU referendum as the retailer’s fashion and home categories defied Brexit uncertainty.
Sales at the department store chain climbed 2.1% to £90.8m in the week to July 2 as its Summer Clearance drove consumers into shops.
Fashion sales advanced 3.8% during the period, with babywear proving to be the standout performer of the category, registering 21.9% growth.
John Lewis said jewellery also had a “strong” week, posting a 15.6% jump in sales, while men’s formalwear increased 14.7% year-on-year.
Home sales reported a 1.7% boost in sales compared with the same week last year as beds and bedroom drove performance within the division, enjoying a 15.5% uplift.
However, sales within John Lewis’s electricals and home technology slipped 0.1% after a “slower” week for small electricals, despite the launch of the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer.
Waitrose under the weather
Sister retailer Waitrose suffered a 2.8% fall in total sales excluding fuel to £128.6m, but the upmarket grocer said the year-on-year decrease was “expected”.
The upmarket grocer said the comparable week in 2015 was “one of the sunniest” of the year and also involved “significant national marketing activity” to promote the launch of its Pick Your Own Offers scheme.
Waitrose said the week’s wet weather drove sales up 50% within its casual dining and grazing areas in stores as shoppers sought solace from the rain at the retailer’s wine and tapas bars, sushi counters and juice bars.
The supermarket chain said sales of umbrellas and ponchos more than doubled amid the downpours, while sales of foods associated with colder weather – including roasting joints, gravy, pies and soups – were also buoyed by the rain.