John Lewis fashion sales drop but own brands power ahead
It was a bad week for John Lewis in the seven days to April 14 as its parent company's sales fell more than 16% to £202.55 million. But at least the biggest drop was at its Waitrose supermarkets due to the Easter shift, rather than at the John Lewis chain itself.
At the department stores operation, the sales total for the week was down only 7.1% year-on-year. And the reason for the big fall? The company blamed poor weather and “the annualising of Easter promotions in the same week last year.”
It meant Fashion directory sales fell a fairly hefty 9.2%. However, the firm's own brand offer continued to boom with own brand womenswear sales up 14%. The company said that its Kin and Modern Rarity labels were “performing well”, which is perhaps something of an understatement as they were up 50% and 30% respectively. Cold-weather fashion items were also up 3% on last year as temperature stayed low. However this could now change with Britain and enjoying a mini heatwave this week
John Lewis’s Home directory, which has struggled for some time, was down 12.9%, with poor weather also affecting sales here. However it saw a strong start to its Summer Party range, which launched in all branches. And its latest home style collection, The World Traveler, is also “performing well as customers look to refresh their home for the summer months.” Lighting had a strong week too (+5%) with floor lamps particularly strong, up 14%.
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