John Lewis hailed the biggest trading day in its history last week as it cashed in on a Black Friday sales boom.

The department store business said revenues spiked 7.2% to £214.2m in the week to November 26, driven by performance within its fashion and home and electricals categories.

During Black Friday, the high street bellwether recorded its busiest-ever online sales hour, with an average of 705 units purchased per minute between 9am and 10am.

Transactions made via its smartphone app surged 36.8% between midnight and 8am on the same day as shoppers snapped up bargains early in the day.

John Lewis said both its stores and online arms registered sales increases in fashion, which recorded a 9.9% increase in revenues.

Beauty and womenswear emerged as the top-performing sub-categories, growing 27.5% and 8.3% respectively.

In electricals, a category traditionally associated with Black Friday discounts, sales were up 9.7% as wearable tech, mobile devices and small electricals proved particularly popular.

As shoppers rushed to get their hands on bargains in electricals and fashion, sales within its homewares division slipped 2.1%.


Despite John Lewis’ success, sister retailer Waitrose suffered a 0.1% slip in sales excluding fuel to £137.1m during the same seven-day period.

In the run-up to December, seasonal purchases performed well, with Waitrose reporting a 7% increase in sales of advent calendars, 6.5% growth in Christmas trees and a 13% climb in chocolate selection boxes.

Christmas biscuits and festive bakery products were up 15% and 40% respectively.

However, sales in Waitrose’s home and general merchandise category slumped 7.4%.


Across the Partnership, total revenues advanced 4.2% to £351.4m.