Department store John Lewis sales dipped 0.3% in the week to March 16 as the cold snap led to a 10% drop in womenswear revenue.
The figures are pitted against Mother’s Day and an iPad launch last year but the retailer also referred to the “extended winter weather” this year as a factor.
Fashion had the toughest trading across its departments, according to the retailer, with sales dipping 6% over the week. John Lewis said Mother’s Day and price matching activity last year combined with “poor weather” this year particularly impacted womenswear, which plunged 10% and accessories, which plummeted 14%.
To highlight the impact the weather had on sales, the retailer said that its biggest growth came from knee-length coats, which soared 140% year on year and gloves, which jumped 40%.
Menswear fared better with sales increasing 8% with outerwear and knitwear experiencing the strongest growth.
Electricals and home technology was John Lewis’ best performing area up 2.6% over the year with small electricals soaring 38%. Large electricals jumped 19% and imaging rocketed 65%.
The department store said heating sales were up 172% this year which it said was down to the unseasonable weather.
Home sales edged up 2.1% over the week with bed linen leaping 17% and floor coverings increased 12%. However, John Lewis said that cooking, dining, home accessories and gifting were impacted by the comparison with Mother’s Day last year.
Online sales increased 6.5% with a 50% increase in click-and-collect orders and a 85% jump in orders collected through Waitrose.
John Lewis buying and brand director Peter Ruis said: ”With Easter on the horizon, our marketing campaign launching this week and availability in a really strong position, we’re well set for a good result over this important trading period.”
Meanwhile, sister retailer Waitrose sales, excluding petrol, rose 8.3% boosted by do-gooders baking for Comic Relief along with the climax of the Six Nations rugby tournament.
Home baking jumped 30%, which Waitrose marketing director Rupert Thomas put down to shoppers making cakes to raise funds for Comic Relief. Sales of its Essential range’s red food colouring increased 36% on last week and red edible glitter flakes soared more than 80%, he said.
The finale to the Six Nations led to fresh pizzas increasing10% and beer sales up 12%. Waitrose.com food orders were up by a staggering 50.8% year on year.
The cold weather was also evident in Waitrose, with sales of tinned soup sales soaring 32% while slow cooked meats leapt 28%.