John Lewis’ revenues dropped last week despite excellent beauty sales as falling fashion and home sales hit the retailer.
Sales for the week to November 11 dropped 3.2% to £108.8m. Over the first 15 weeks of the retailer’s last half however, sales were up 0.7%.
Fashion sales slipped 4.2% as homewares decreased 4.6%. Electricals and home technology dipped 0.4%.
John Lewis trading director Ed Connolly said: “Beauty, wellbeing and leisure sales had a strong week, up 7.2%. Beauty in particular enjoyed a good week, experiencing double-digit growth, and toys also performed well as parents begin to look ahead to Christmas.”
At sister grocer Waitrose, sales nudged up 0.3% to £136.03m. In the first 15 weeks of its last half, they rose 1.4%.
“With the launch of our Christmas ad on Sunday the countdown to Christmas has truly begun”, said commercial director Rupert Thomas.
“In the run-up to the ad’s debut, shoppers took the opportunity of a half-price promotion to stock up on Christmas crackers, with sales up 28%. Stocking fillers such as DVDs and luxury toiletries were up 100% and 45% respectively.”
Waitrose’s presence in China also boosted its numbers.
“Orders of Waitrose food and drink to the country were more than four times their usual rate in preparation for the weekend,” added Thomas.
“We started exporting to China in 2016 and now provide a range of more than 100 products with sales already 75% up year-on-year.”
Across the partnership, sales were down 1.3% to £245.17m for the week and up 1.1% for the 15 weeks.