John Lewis experienced a slower week in the seven days to 17 September, but Waitrose had a good week as the weather tuned cooler.
John Lewis sales were up 0.9% excluding VAT, and 2.9% with VAT included, in what was described as “a quieter week as Bank to School quietens down”. Only seven of the stores open for more than a year showed sales increases, with Edinburgh leading the pack, up 5.7%. Croydon, Reading, Norwich, Welwyn and Bluewater all registered double-digit sales declines. Online sales were up 23.3%, below the rate for the second half so far, but the Partnership claimed it was ahead of it internet competitors.
John Lewis’s new store in Stratford opened during the week, and selling operations director Nat Wakely said it had started “very well” and was in John Lewis’s top ten stores for first five days of trading. Menswear, electronics and beauty did best at Stratford.
Across the business as a whole, electricals and home technology was the best performing buying group, up 7%, while fashion was up 3% and home was slightly down.
At Waitrose, sales were up 10.9%, above the rate for the half-year so far but still below the 19.9% rise recorded in the same week last year. The cooler autumnal weather and return of programmes like the X Factor helped sales of ready meals, comfort food and cookware, the retailer said.