Mar 27, 2018
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John Lewis fashion sales dip but weather boosts spring offer

Mar 27, 2018

John Lewis Partnership sales may have dropped 1.3% to £214.46 million in the latest week but the John Lewis chain (and its webstore) was more buoyant with a 2.2% uplift.

John Lewis

Why the difference? Well, the group’s Waitrose supermarkets were clearly struggling but its department stores weren’t. However, for once it couldn’t thank fashion and beauty for the uplift at the eponymous chain.

In a rare week, Fashion directory sales were down by 1.8% and beauty category sales fell a scary 11%, but the company had a good excuse. After all, a year ago, Mother’s Day fell in that week whereas for 2018, Mother’s Day is now a distant memory.

If we dig a bit deeper, we can see that the underlying story for fashion at John lewis stayed strong. Menswear, for instance, which wasn’t impacted by any calendar shifts, rose as much a 6.2% in the seven-day period. 

And the company said that customers were "inspired by the warmer weather [and] snapped up casual linen tops and dresses in womenswear, [which were] up 34%, and men’s swimwear, [which was] up 11%.”

That’s certainly good news as the worry when seasonal sales are delayed due to adverse weather is that those sales won’t catch up once the product available in-store does find itself more in sync with the climate.

Meanwhile Home sales continued to fall and were down 2.4%, but gift food saw a rise of 10% on the same period last year as customers bought Easter treats.  Also, John Lewis promotions saw strong sales in living & dining, up 17.6% and lighting, up 4.2% compared to last year.

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