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Fine weather boosts John Lewis fashion figures

Sales were up 5.3% last week at John Lewis compared with the previous year, as the warm weather had an impact, particularly across the fashion departments.

The department store chain said sales in the week ending March 15 hit £66.21m, an improvement on last year’s figures, which were at £62.85m. Fashion sales rose 7.7%.

The seven weeks to March 15 also showed a big uptick on the same period last year, up 5.8%, although the company said the fall of Easter had made it difficult to benchmark data against last year. However sales in that seven-week period were up almost 20% on two years ago in 2012.

Retail director Barry Matheson said: “We had a solid week’s trade last week but the shift in the fall of Easter and impact of the weather mean it is difficult to make comparisons with last year. Trade in shops looked relatively strong going into the weekend but the warm weather in the south of the country took the edge off the weekly total, particularly in some of the major regional shopping destinations.

“The positive impact of the fine weather was seen most clearly in fashions. Accessories such as sunglasses and sandals were in demand and our own brand fashion had a good week with linen ranges performing well.”

He added: “The refurbished shop at High Wycombe continues to put on some impressive increases with last week up 19.3%. It was followed by Newbury, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Norwich who were all above the 5% mark.”

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