Weekly sales across the John Lewis Partnership ranged from subdued increases to slight dips as shoppers held out on their Christmas shopping.

The department store retailer reported sales edged up in the week to December 17, driven by its knitwear and menswear offers.

However, with seven full days of shopping still to go following those numbers, the retailer stressed that “big shopping days before Christmas are likely to be in the week ahead.”

It was the same story for Waitrose, which recorded a sales dip during the same period, although its shoppers did find a taste for luxury as quail’s egg sales surged.

At the other end of the spectrum, discounter Aldi is selling Christmas veg for as little as 19p per pack in an effort to lure shoppers through the doors.

One retailer that isn’t feeling any Christmas chill is The White Company, which reported soaring full-year pre-tax profits today.

Elsewhere, Mama & Papas chief commercial officer Jonathan Fitzgerald took over from outgoing chief executive Derek Lovelock, who will step into a non-executive role at the retailer.

And, in the spirit of Christmas giving, the Competition and Markets Authority granted McColl’s its festive wish to acquire 298 of Co-op’s stores.

Quote of the day

 “This is a transformational deal, which substantially accelerates our growth strategy and expands our neighbourhood presence for the benefit of our customers.”

– McColl’s chief executive Jonathan Miller on winning approval from the Competition and Markets Authority to acquire 298 of Co-op’s convenience stores.

Today in numbers


The year-on-year fall in Waitrose’s sales last week

11 million

The number of packs of 19p vegetables Aldi expects to sell this Christmas

Tomorrow’s agenda

There are no major updates scheduled for tomorrow.

Grace Bowden, junior reporter