John Lewis posted a second record sales performance in a row for the week to December 15, recording sales up 11.1% to £ 147.8m, as it forecasts “great things” for the last week before Christmas.
The department store retailer said its online business had its third record week in a row, with all categories “performing well” driven by electrical and home technology, home accessories and menswear and sports.
John Lewis added that the jump in mobile orders was “encouraging” and click-and-collect “excelled” with orders through this channel up 76% year-on-year, as customers like the ease of picking up orders from Waitrose.
John Lewis retail director Andrew Murphy said: “Due to Christmas falling early in the week, we expect great things of week 47. We are well positioned on availability and distribution has worked tirelessly to ensure there are sufficient delivery slots available.
“In a challenging year, I’d like to acknowledge our outperformance of the market both in shops and online. This achievement and especially our excellent sales over the past few weeks speaks volumes for the skillful, determined and relentless efforts of Partners across John Lewis.”
Electrical and home technology was the top performer as sales surged 27.6% driven by “substantial” sales of iPads. John Lewis said sales of its exclusive Microsoft Surface tablet were good over the weekend. Products within the vision category also sold “well”.
Home sales jumped 4.9% led by home accessories and Christmas, while gift food was the top performer up 22% against last year.
Fashion sales increased 3.9% last week, setting a record. Accessories and beauty sales advanced 4.5% with strong sales in Jo Malone and coffrets.
Toys, nursery and baby sales soared 10.3% last year as John Lewis reported lego is ”very popular”.
Waitrose, John Lewis’ sister company, posted a 0.6% edge up in sales excluding petrol to £134.4m year-on-year. Waitrose said numbers were distorted due to the early fall of Christmas last year and strong comparatives as a result of customers stocking up on food ahead of forecast heavy snow.
Year-on year transactions are up by 3.6% while total online sales soared by 39%.
Waitrose said desserts and puddings had been very popular in the week. Sales of Heston Blumenthal’s Hidden Sauce Figgy Pudding have exceeded expectations and is poised to sell out before Christmas, while both the figgy pudding and the Christmas pudding have been listed on eBay for as much as £250.
Sales of Heston’s Christmas pudding ice cream are up 31% week-on-week.
Champagne sales doubled week-on-week driven by promotions, while offers have also boosted sales of smoked salmon. Waitrose’s frozen lobster has been “extremely popular” with sales up 165% against the previous week.
And Waitrose reported that shoppers are “increasingly opting for quality and character in their drinks” with bottled ales up 38% year-on-year as sales across Meantime Brewery’s Chocolare Porter and IPA rocketed 400% and 500% respectively.