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Fashion sales flat at John Lewis

Fashion sales at department store group John Lewis were flat in the week to March 3, despite men’s formalwear and men’s accessories enjoying a strong performance.

The retailer said that the virtually flat, 0.3%, sales increase in fashion sales compared to the previous year was, in part, due to tough comparables in womenswear and as it priced matched a rival’s promotion this time last year.

Overall sales at John Lewis increased 4.4% to £56.8m last week, as technology sales helped drive performance.

Online sales soared 29.2% aided by a 41% uplift in womenswear after the retailer added 7,000 new fashion lines.

Eight John Lewis shops were “ahead of budget”, with High Wycombe, Reading and Watford the star performers.

John Lewis buying & brand director Peter Ruis said: “With stocks and availability in a good position, assortments which are really resonating with customers, and competitor activity that will allow us to show Never Knowingly Undersold in action, we are well placed to continue this performance in the week ahead.”

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