John Lewis sales down 1%; Waitrose up 6%

Department store John Lewis experienced tough trading in the week to September 1, but stablemate supermarket chain Waitrose benefited from the warm bank holiday weather.

John Lewis’s sales fell by 1.1 per cent as the weather reduced footfall into its stores, compared with a wet and windy weekend last year.

Technology products were the bestsellers, with audio up 48 per cent and computers up 21 per cent, along with strong sales of laptops.

Waitrose fared much better, delivering a 6.1 per cent jump in sales for the seven days to September 1. Waitrose supply chain director Mark Williamson said: “Last week marked a transition in trade as customers returned in many areas. While sales were below target, the growth on last year was better and there were many notable performances.”

He added that Organic Fortnight, which big supermarkets are participating in from September 1 to September 16, and Waitrose’s new world wine promotions will provide a further lift to sales in the first half of this month.