Department store retailer John Lewis delivered a second record week in a row as sales surged 11.1% to £147.8m year on year in the week to Saturday, December 15.
John Lewis’ online business also posted its best ever performance, generating sales of £43.1m.
John Lewis head of selling operations Maggie Porteous said: “With a further nine shopping days before the big event, it is excellent news to have already had two record weeks, both over £140m for the first time.
“While some of our customers will have finished their gift buying, have their homes decorated and be prepared for guests, many are still set to shop during the final week and weekend, with a number leaving it right up until the last minute on December 24.”
Shoppers are buying gifts across all categories, but sales are being increasingly driven by presents for women, such as handbags, jewellery, lingerie and beauty products, which are delivering “soaring sales”. The trend is expected to continue until Christmas Eve as last-minute shoppers dash out for presents. Particularly popular items include Creed and Top Ford fragrances, Clarins and Gucci gift sets and silk chemises and robes for women.
John Lewis recorded sales of formalwear up for the party season, with lace dresses for women and three-piece suits for men “selling fast”. Meanwhile, sales of Christmas jumpers have doubled and sales of chunky red knits have jumped.
Across technology sales, the top gifts include the Nook e-Reader, the Jelly Belly iPhone case and the Juice charger for Apple products. The kids’ Kurio tablet is also in demand, while Lego is proving popular and John Lewis’ top children’s book is The Snowman’s Journey, which is based on the retailer’s TV ad this year.
John Lewis revealed it is starting its Sale online at 5pm on Christmas Eve and in the shops from December 27