John Lewis sales spiked last week as the department store’s fashion lines were lifted by warmer weather to deliver strong growth.
The retailer posted an 11.6% increase in total sales to £81m for the week ending May 7 as the bank holiday Monday helped drive trade.
Fashion sales advanced 13.4% during the seven-day period year on year. John Lewis said “many customers” purchased warm-weather products throughout the week.
Women’s accessories jumped 16.8%, with sunglasses and sandals spearheading the category’s performance, while a 23.8% uplift in fragrance sales drove a “great week” for the retailer’s beauty division.
John Lewis added that electricals and home technology continued to grow, with sales advancing 11.9% compared to the same week last year.
The retailer said the warm weather “had a positive impact on sales”, with cooling products posting a 48% uplift. Sales of tablets and computing were up by 24.3%.
Warmer weather also drove home sales up 10.3%, with outdoor living ranges emerging as the “star performer”, with sales more than doubling compared to last year.
Sister retailer Waitrose recorded a 4.2% jump in sales, excluding fuel, as the first burst of summer drove a spike in alfresco dining.
Sales of barbecue meats rose 41% during the week, while fresh produce posted an 11.8% uplift compared to the same week in 2015.
Shoppers were keen to keep cool in the heatwave, sparking jumps in sales of ice and ice cream, which rose 60% and 56% respectively.
As customers entertained guests with a weekend of outdoor socialising, the alcohol category also posted growing sales. Gin and rosé wine were the standout performers, as sales increased 15% and 39%.