John Lewis sales suffered last week as it price-matched a competitor’s event, with home sales hit particularly hard.

Total sales dropped 1.8% to £83.1m in the week to April 29, down 1% over the first 13 weeks of the department store chain’s financial year.

Home sales dropped 7.2% although the category was buoyed by outdoor living sales, which were up 10.9%.

Fashion sales were up 0.5% while beauty, wellbeing and leisure rose 4.1%.

Cold weather impact

John Lewis fashion director Christine Kasoulis said: “Sales of clothing were impacted by the colder weather but womenswear still grew by 2.6% year-on-year with casualwear performing the strongest.”

Electrical and home technology sales nudged up 1.1% with mobile phone and photography sales up 32%.


Sales at Waitrose rose 1.7% to £131.7m in the week to April 29 and were up 2% in the 13 weeks.

Waitrose finance director Loraine Woodhouse said: “A week of mixed weather didn’t dampen shoppers’ enthusiasm for al fresco dining as sales of barbecue meats increased by 56% and salads rose by 8%.

Customers were celebrating the long weekend, as sales of beer and spirits increased by 10% and 14% respectively.

Sales of croissants and other pastries … saw an uplift in sales of 8.6%.”

Overall, sales at the Partnership rose 0.3% to £214.8m in the week to April 29 and 1.6% in the 13 weeks.