Up-to-date coverage of the latest events in UK retail.

John Lewis Partnership sales slide

John Lewis Partnership’s sales slumped 8.9% to £208.45m in the week to March 9, compared to an increase of 3.5% during the same period the previous year.

The retailer blamed the sales slide on last year’s earlier timing of Mother’s Day and the surge in sales recorded 12 months ago as Britain recovered from the Beast from the East.

Sales at the group’s eponymous department store tumbled 8.8%. Revenues recorded within its electricals and home technology and homewares categories fell 6.3% and 10.7% respectively.

Fashion sales declined 10.1% compared to a 2.1% increase the previous year. However, warm weather clothing and menswear performed well, growing 9% and 3.3% respectively.

Sister retailer Waitrose & Partners reported a 8.9% slowdown in sales. Its home & general merchandise category took the biggest hit, as revenues slumped 24.4%.

Ambient food sales were down 8%, but vegan and vegetarian options registered a 57% uptick in revenues.

Stitch Fix posts sales rise

Personal styling specialist Stitch Fix, which uses algorithms to deliver fashion and accessories suited to its customers, reported a 25% rise in net sales to $370.3 million in its second quarter.

Net income was $12.0m and adjusted EBITDA $19.2m in the period when active customer numbers rose 18% year on year to of 3 million.

Stitch Fix founder and chief executive Katrina Lake said: “Q2 was another strong quarter for us.

“Since becoming a public company, we have posted six consecutive quarters of over 20% growth, which demonstrates our ability to drive consistent business performance.

“I’m proud that we’re now serving 3 million people across the US and remain focused on delighting our existing clients and expanding our reach.”

Karen Millen appoints customer and digital director

Martin Francis, formerly director of global multichannel trading at House of Fraser has been named customer and digital director of Karen Millen and Coast, Drapers reported.

Francis joined House of Fraser in 2013 as head of online trading before becoming director of global multichannel trading in 2015. He left the retailer in 2016 to join Woolovers as chief customer officer, where he remained for two years.