Retail news round-up on December 31, 2015: John Lewis’ Christmas week sales rise, retail sales growth to fall and Aldi’s expansion in Scotland

John Lewis sees 2.3 percent rise in Christmas week sales

Department store chain John Lewis posted a 2.3 percent year-on-year rise in Christmas week sales.

Its clearance sale started online on Christmas eve and stores reopened on the weekend. Shoppers visited its website and mobile app to buy gadgets such as gaming devices.

Managing Director Andy Street said: “We are now in the final week of our peak trading period with clearance in full swing across our shops and online, and we are seeing customers continue to enjoy our reductions across fashion, home and electricals and home technology.”

Post Office aims to become biggest Sunday retailer

Post Office, which already has over 3,300 branches open on Sunday, aims to become Britain’s “largest retail network open on Sundays” by the end of 2016.

It is second only to Tesco in terms of retailers doing business seven days a week.

The move is part of a major “modernisation” programme that began in 2012.

Retail sales growth likely to fall in 2016

Consumers are likely to divert spending from retail shopping to nights out and home improvement,.

Retail sales growth is expected to fall from 1.8 percent this year to 1.7 percent in 2016, according to the KPMG/Ipsos retail think tank.

“Consumers are looking beyond retail for goods and services to spend their money on,” said panel member Maureen Hinton, an analyst at consultancy Conlumino.

Sports Direct to spend £10m on raising pay

Sports Direct’s boss Mike Ashley has promised to spend £10m on increasing the pay of all its employees to above the minimum wage.

A Guardian probe had revealed that temporary warehouse workers at the sportswear chain are subjected to searches and surveillance. Moreover, many workers were getting hourly rates of pay below the minimum wage.

The rise was announced in an interview with the Daily Mirror.

The pay rise will amount to around 15p an hour meaning workers aged 21 and above will receive £6.85 an hour, and 18- to 20-year-olds will be paid £5.45 hourly, the Mirror said.

Aldi to expand further in Scotland

Budget supermarket Aldi is set to open eight more stores in Scotland next year to bring its total north of the border to 72.

Its employee strength in Scotland will reach about 2,500 – a 200 per cent increase since 2012.

The discount retailer has increased its capital investment in its Scottish store portfolio by more than 40 per cent in the past three years.