John Lewis has posted record sales as revenue soared 15% to £142m in its week to December 8.
Sales jumped both in-store and online, with JohnLewis.com notching up its best ever performance of £42m over the week. Last week’s Mega Monday was a record day for its online operation, generating £7.3m in sales.
The retailer, which delivers to 33 countries, revealed that it is to launch foreign language websites next year in both Germany and France.
Fashion sales were boosted over the week due to the colder weather. Both womenswear and menswear experienced a “major uplift”, with coats, scarves and knitwear proving particularly popular.
At the same time, customers have been looking for special purchases, such as cashmere, lingerie, gloves, handbags or jewellery for Christmas gifting.
John Lewis said that toys are “flying off the shelves” and traditional products were trading well. Lego, board games and scooters, along with new apps toys, are so far the must-have Christmas gifts.
Sales are escalating in gift food – hampers are in “great demand” and the new Jamie Oliver ‘JME’ range is proving “hugely popular”, according to the department store.
In electronics and home technology, sales of tablets, headphones and DAB radios continued to experience major uplifts over the week.
Consumers are continuing to get their homes ready for Christmas and sales of trees and decorations are reaching new heights, according to John Lewis. The retailer reported “significant increases” in sales of bed linen, ready-made curtains and guest beds as well as Christmas-themed table linen for festive entertaining.
John Lewis retail director Andrew Murphy said: “We are delighted to have achieved these new sales records, particularly in a market which is still economically challenging. It shows that customers trust John Lewis to deliver the perfect Christmas for their family and friends, whether it is finding the right gift or finding the right touches to decorate their homes.
“It is great to see a really festive buzz in our shops and all our partners are focused on providing the levels of service and advice our customers expect from us, particularly at this key Christmas period.”
Meanwhile, the soundtrack to the John Lewis Christmas ad, Gabrielle Aplin’s cover of The Power of Love, took the number one position in the official singles chart this evening, the retailer’s first ever chart topper.
John Lewis managing director Andy Street said the positive online sales figures may prove the first signs of a backlash against etail giant Amazon which he criticised over its tax status last month. He said: “If we look at our online trade, the last three weeks have been really dramatic. The increases there are about 40% year-on-year.
“That coincides with the observations about paying corporation tax and I think our customers expect John Lewis to be a responsible business in every sense of that.
He added: “That extends from the conditions in the supply chain through to paying the right amount of corporation tax.”