Fashion sales drove a strong week at department store chain John Lewis as the warmer weather stimulated sales of summer ranges.
The department store notched up a 25% increase in fashion sales during the week to March 27. Womenswear sales rose 33% during the period and menswear and sportswear sales jumped 28%.
Sales of home products rose 21% and the electricals and technology category was up 10%.
Total sales at the department store rose 19% in the week to £56.5m, the retailer’s second-best increase of the half.
John Lewis’ Bluewater, Oxford Street and Leicester stores’ sales soared by 26%, 22% and 15% respectively and another 10 branches delivered double digit growth in the week. Sales at John Lewis Direct rose 52%.
John Lewis director of selling operations David Barford said: “All of our new fashion brands are receiving positive responses from customers and a number of branches are taking part in fashion weeks and fashion shows across a number of locations. Customers were clearly taking advantage of the slightly warmer weather and making changes to summer wardrobes.”
Sales at sister chain Waitrose were up 13% to £93m in the week and the grocer’s new advert featuring Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal sparked intense demand for featured products including rhubarb – the retailer sold as much in the four days after the ad as it would normally in 14 weeks - and sales of the Essential Waitrose pork loin roast joint soared 4,000%.
Sales of Easter confectionery rocketed 107% as did other seasonal food – leg of lamb sales climbed 473%.