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

John Lewis sales slump

John Lewis & Partners suffered a 2.4% slump in sales last week as price matching and the annualising of other promotions drove the decline.

The department store chain’s electrical and home technology sales fell 3.8% in the week to March 16, while homewares slipped 3.2%.

Fashion sales were down 0.5%, but menswear and womenswear grew 9.3% and 5.1% respectively.

Sales also fell at sister retailer Waitrose & Partners, declining 0.6% across the same period.

Ambient and non-ambient food sales were broadly flat, slipping just 0.1% and 0.2% respectively, but general merchandise revenues tumbled 6.7%.

Total sales declined 1.2% to £203.8m across the Partnership.

Bonmarché warns on profits again

Fashion retailer Bonmarché has warned that it will make a worse than expected loss this year after tough trading in March.

Bonmarché had previously anticipated an underlying loss of up to £4m but the figure is now expected to be between £5m and £6m.

Asos posts sales rise as UK outperforms and US lags

Asos has recorded a rise in quarterly sales after a strong showing in the UK, but high demand in the Us caused dispatch problems there.

Asos’ total sales climbed 13% to £658.5m on a reported basis in the three months to February 28. Total retail sales were up by the same percentage to £641.3m.

In Asos’ domestic market sales advanced 14% to £244.4m.

Ocado posts sales advance despite warehouse fire

Ocado has posted an increase in sales in its first quarter, when a fire hit its Andover warehouse.

Ocado reported a an 11.2% rise in retail revenue in the period to March , when the blaze hit sales by 1.2%.

The etailer reported underlying growth in average orders per week but the average order size was slightly down.

ScS profits rise in challenging market conditions

ScS, the upholstered furniture specialist, has reported an increase in half-year profits but said trading conditions remain uncertain.

ScS said underlying EBITDA from continuing operations advanced by £0.3m to £3.4m on gross sales up 1.2% to £159.2m.

The like-for-like order intake was up 1.5% in the 26 weeks to January 26.

Better Bathrooms bought out of admin

Etailer Buy It Direct has bought the assets and goodwill of Better Bathrooms and the brand will be relaunched, Insider Media reported.

Better Bathrooms, which had 13 showrooms and two trade counters, hit the buffers earlier this month.

Buy it Direct managing director Nick Glynne said: “The Better Bathrooms business will complement our other successful home brands, Appliances Direct and Furniture123 and I am particularly pleased to be working with some of the existing talented team.

“We hope to start trading again later this month and are now focused on resurrecting and developing the brand to demonstrate exceptional value to our customers.”