Worst week of year for department stores
John Lewis has blamed the World Cup and soaring summer temperatures for its worst Saturday sales performance in its department stores so far this year.

The group recorded sales decreases at both the beginning and end of last week. As England played its first match of the tournament last Saturday, the Glasgow branch was the only store to record a sales increase.

Overall, like-for-likes sales rose 4.6 per cent during the week ending June 10, following double-figure percentage gains midweek. But this compares with an average rise of 11.2 per cent for the year so far.

Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner said: 'Trade was weak on Saturday, we believe down 18 per cent, but it was not just the World Cup but also a general move away from the department stores to the multiples, due to the arrival of the sun.'

However, the department store chain said the World Cup did help sales of widescreen and flat panel televisions. Seasonal products, such as sunglasses, barbeques and outdoor furniture, also sold well.

By contrast, the football and sunny weather lifted sales at the group's supermarket chain Waitrose. Like-for-like sales were up 17.7 per cent, compared with an average increase of 9.7 per cent for the year so far. Strong sales of beer, barbeque ranges, salads and ice creams drove the increase.

Across the John Lewis Partnership like-for-like sales rose by 12.7 per cent.