John Lewis helped by cooler weather as new season fashion shines
The performance at John Lewis Partnership’s combined department stores and supermarkets may have been pretty unimpressive in the latest week (sales fell 0.7% to just over £210 million), but the department store chain itself – and its fashion and beauty operations – did much better.
In fact, in the seven days to August 25, the John Lewis chain saw overall sales rising 1.7% while the Fashion directory powered ahead with an 8% increase. Both womenswear and menswear saw sales rising, up 6% and 4.4% respectively, with new season ranges performing well. This is encouraging given how warm weather at the start of last year’s autumn season hurt early sales of AW17 merchandise.
There had been concerns that the same would happen this year as Britain's prolonged heatwave looked set to continue. But a marked drop in temperatures in recent weeks – and plenty of rain – appear to have been enough to excite consumer interest in items such as outerwear and knits.
The company also said that Beauty, Wellbeing and Leisure had “an exceptionally good week”, with sales up 17.9% driven by price matching through its Never Knowingly Undersold policy.
Once again though, Home sales were down, this time by 2.1%. However its own brand, House, had a strong week with sales up 11.6% on last year, with bedroom and bath products a particular standout. Upholstery also had a good week with sales rising by 10%.
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