John Lewis’ first full week of its Clearance Sale “continued momentum” from Christmas as turnover at the department store surged 26% to £91.8m in the week to January 5.
Electricals Home and Technology “continued its fantastic run” as sales rocketed 44%. John Lewis experienced “strong increases across all areas”, particularly tablets and Windows 8 computers.
Home performed “very strongly” with sales up 13%.
John Lewis buying director, Home, Paula Nickolds said customers have “responded well to this year’s Special Buy offer, and a Clearance leaflet and pop-up shops have helped to unpack the offer better than ever before”. Cookshop, Tabletop and Bed Linen were all more than 20% up on last year.
Fashion “excelled” with a 20% lift on last year. “Customers are combating the ‘January Blues’ in different ways,” said Nickolds. “New year fitness regimes are in evidence with related product in Sports up 19% on last year, others are choosing to treat themselves with handbags increasing 17% against the same week last year.”
Swindon and Croydon were the best performing stores in terms of sales growth.
“This year we have more newness in store than ever before and the critical full-price sales are promising across all three directorates,” said Nickolds.
At sister retailer Waitrose, the upmarket grocer, sales soared 19.7% to £107.5m, partly powered by the timing of new year’s eve falling into a different trading week.
However, Waitrose said despite this it still had a “storming start to the year with sales up as the UK was again in celebratory mood”, said Mark Williamson, commercial director at Waitrose.
Waitrose Entertaining orders were up 157%, frozen party food was up 147% and sales of caviar rocketed 346%.
Last week Waitrose launched its LOVE life kitchen gadgets in nearly 200 branches to “help customers judge the correct portion sizes” as Brits aim to get fit in January. In three days Waitrose sold more than 2,500 products.