John Lewis & Partners has posted an increase in sales during the final two weeks of December, boosted by a “very strong” Christmas Eve performance.
The department store business said total sales rose 4.5% year on year in the week to December 29, following a 4.2% uplift in the week to December 22.
John Lewis said “strong” sales on December 24 and a “confident start” to its Clearance Sale, both online and in-store, contributed to the uplift in revenues.
Fashion sales increased 10.7% in the seven days to December 29, with women’s accessories jumping 21.5%. Revenues from its beauty, wellbeing and leisure category grew 25.3% during the period.
Homeware revenues dipped 2.3%, despite a 25% spike in sales of cookware gifts and dining products, as shoppers snapped up last-minute presents.
Sister retailer Waitrose posted a 19.2% jump in sales during the week to December 29, although it said the figures were “heavily distorted” by the fall of Christmas and New Year.
The previous week, the upmarket grocer suffered an 11.8% slump in sales.
Waitrose insisted that performance in both weeks was “in line with expectations”.
Sales across fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen, meat, fish, dairy and bakery increased 22.2% in the week to December 29, while ambient and general merchandise increased 16.7% and 14.5% respectively.
The John Lewis Partnership will deliver its full Christmas trading update, covering the six weeks to December 29, on January 10.