• Department store group said quiet week was against ‘backdrop of changeable weather’
  • Many store sales were down year on year but online was up 6.4%
  • Fashion sales slipped 2.3% during the week

Sales at John Lewis increased 0.6% to £69.97m last week, with year-on-year takings down at stores including its Oxford Street flagship.

John Lewis weekly sales to January 30

John Lewis weekly sales to January 30

John Lewis weekly sales to January 30

The department store retailer said its quiet week, which saw some of its stores including Solihull, Swindon and Aberdeen report a double-digit loss compared to the year before, was against a ‘backdrop of changeable weather’. Its flagship Oxford Street store posted a 6.6% fall in sales last week. 

Online continued to perform well for John Lewis with sales up 6.4%.

Across the categories, fashion sales slipped 2.3% during the seven days to January 30, while it was a stronger week for home and electricals and home technology, which rose 2.9% and 1.7% respectively.

Barry Matheson, director of retail services at John Lewis, said: “In the final week of the financial year, and against a backdrop of changeable weather, total sales were up 0.6% year on year. Sales at our shops were down overall, but our Heathrow, York and Exeter branches delivered particularly positive increases versus last year.

“At a directorate level, home was up 2.9% and saw increases across all product categories, with home accessories driving the greatest year-on-year growth. EHT [electricals and home technology], too, was in the increases, up 1.7%, with strongest performance within the area of communication technology.

“Fashion sales were down 2.3%, but beauty/wellbeing and leisure was the stand-out, perhaps indicating that our customers have been inspired by our Re:new all campaign.”

Waitrose figures

Sales at sister retailer Waitrose dropped 2.4% to £117.2m, in what commercial director Mark Williamson described as a “challenging” week.

The upmarket grocer pointed out that many its consumers celebrated Burns Night last week, with the retailer noting a 22% rise in the sales of haggis compared to last year.

John Lewis Partnership noted that from next week it will release its weekly trading statements on a Tuesday.

It also added that its ”weekly reports are changing to reflect the omnichannel nature of our business and will report on overall sales rather than individual shops, regions and sales channels”.