Sales at John Lewis department stores climbed 11% to £86.8m last week, a better performance after a tough time during August.

John Lewis weekly sales to September 5

  • Clothing sales boosted women’s and men’s outerwear
  • Rugby World Cup drove electronics ‘revival’
  • Online sales up 19%

John Lewis reported that the wet bank holiday, followed by cool weather during the week and the timing of the back-to-school period helped performance.

Clothing sales advanced 16.9% driven by “standout performances” in women’s and men’s outerwear and knitwear, as well as boots and shoes.

There was an 18% rise in childrenswear sales as a result of back-to-school buying.

The home category generated a 10.2% revenue uplift, boosted by gift purchases.

A “revival” in electricals and home technology continued and sales rose 6.8%. The Rugby World Cup boosted sales of vision products, which were up “an exceptional 48%”.

New products

John Lewis director, retail services, Barry Matheson said: “With new product launches on the horizon we would hope to see more positive news in communications technology in the weeks ahead.”

John Lewis’s online sales rose 19% and 36 branches delivered sales increases on last year.

Matheson said: “As new product floods into our shops and online the focus is on exploiting that newness and innovation in our assortments.

“September will be a barometer of how customers are feeling, giving us an early indication of the strength of seasonal trade ahead and I have every confidence that we will not be disappointed.”

Sales at stablemate grocer Waitrose rose 1.2% last week to £120.9m.