John Lewis sales fell in the week to 4 June on a VAT-exclusive basis, with the bank holiday and warm weather disrupting trade.
Overall ex-VAT sales were down 1.5%, while taking into account the VAT rise, sales were up 0.5%. Only three branches managed a sales increase: Leicester, Poole and Glasgow. Three stores recorded double-digit declines. Online sales were up 15.9%, well below the rate for the year so far.
Father’s Day merchandise and in-store catering were the highlights for the chain. Fashion sales and the home assortment both recorded a 1.5% VAT-inclusive sales rise, but the electricals and home technology buying group was down overall.
John Lewis director David Barford was hopeful the more unsettled weather will have boosted trade this week.
Waitrose’s total sales were up 8.6% for the week, almost exactly in line with its performance over the year so far. The return of the £10 meal deal proved a success, while flowers, white wine and comfort food also did well. Star of the show was haddock, however, up 423% thanks to appearing in the latest Delia Smith recipe.
Waitrose this week introduced a new range of healthy products, called Love Life, designed to balance its more indulgent Duchy, Heston and Menu From ranges,