John Lewis reported a “cracking finale” to its Clearance Sale as sales jumped 19% to £75.8m in its week to January 12, with revenue almost doubling against two years ago.
Electricals and home technology sales rocketed 35%, while home jumped 12% and fashion rose 8%.
Every John Lewis store was in positive like-for-like territory over the week with 16 branches delivering double-digit increases.
In fashion, handbags and beauty were its star performers, while textiles and carpets experienced a “big upswing” in the last week of its Sale. In electricals and home technology, imaging sales stood out from the pack.
John Lewis director of selling operations Nat Wakely said: “It was great to see such a week when everything came together so well, but I sit here knowing that snow is on its way. Hopefully we and our customers will navigate it safely and successfully towards the end of our financial year.”
Meanwhile, at sister retailer Waitrose sales excluding petrol jumped 11.2% year on year over the week as the cold spell prompted customers to stock up.
Waitrose marketing director Rupert Thomas said: “With the arrival of colder weather and snow forecast, customers were making sure they were prepared, which helped fuel demand for kitchen staples. An indicator of chilly temperatures almost as accurate as the falling mercury is the surge in demand for traditional store cupboard favourites. Sales of canned soup and vegetables surged by more than 20%.”
Fresh soup sales jumped by 44% over the week while ready-to-cook meals soared 35% and slow-cooked meats proved especially popular in the cold weather as sales more than doubled, up 115%.
Shoppers picked up clothing accessories to keep them warm as the big chill set in with sales of opaque tights nearly doubling over the week and sales of men’s gloves surging 145%.
Meanwhile, there was evidence that New Year’s resolutions were in full swing as total fruit and vegetables sales increased by 10% and 21% respectively.
The popularity of Waitrose.com continued with sales through the channel soaring 60% as customers avoided the icy conditions to do their grocery shopping from the comfort of their own homes.