John Lewis sales slipped last week as severe winter weather across the UK deterred shoppers.

The employee-owned group said John Lewis department store sales edged down 0.6% to £171.4m in the seven days to December 16.

The retailer put it down to “adverse weather and heavy snow across the country” resulting in fewer people heading outside to shop and impacting all categories.

Fashion sales were down 1% year-on-year, but its own brand line performed strongly — up 7.6%. 

Home sales fell 2.2% while its electricals and home technology category registered a 1.5% increase driven by smart home products and Star Wars merchandise. 

The retailer said trade “picked up” towards the end of the week, particularly in its Christmas and gift food categories.  


Sales at upmarket grocery chain Waitrose were flat year-on-year at £164.2m last week, despite the unfavourable weather conditions. 

The grocer said magnums of Champagne and Prosecco had a “sparkling week” as shoppers entertained in the run-up to Christmas. 

Cold temperatures also led to strong sales of hearty food, with pie sales up 12% and soup up 12%. 

Across the partnership, sales slipped 0.3% to £335.7m.