John Lewis and Waitrose both recorded sales increases in the week to May 15, with the department store business particularly strong.
John Lewis was up 15.5% despite a quiet Saturday when good weather and the FA Cup final hit sales. Director of selling operations Nat Wakely said heightened awareness of the Never Knowingly Undersold price pledge from its high profile television ad campaign helped drive footfall.
All but five stores were in positive territory, with Bluewater and Oxford Street continuing to lead the way, and direct sales up 49%.
Fashion had the best week of the buying divisions, up 21%, with menswear and sports particularly strong driven by World Cup merchandise. Televisions also benefited from the impending football bonanza. Home was up 18% with furniture doing well.
Waitrose’s 9.8% increase was below its run rate of 12.3% for the past 15 weeks, but what personnel director Rob Collins described as the “Delia and Heston effect” continued to drive sales. Sales of a fish soup promoted by Delia Smith were up 769%. Pizza sales were up 190% because of the FA Cup final.