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John Lewis fashion sales rise in run up to Christmas

John Lewis saw its fashion sales rise 10.3% in the five weeks to December 31, 2011.

In a trading statement released today, the department store said that its total sales for the period were £596m, 9.3% up compared with last year and like-for-like sales grew 6.2%.

Compared with two years ago, total sales were 19.1% up and like-for-like sales grew 14.4%.

Fashion, including beauty, was 10.3% up, reflective of figures showing gains in market share in all categories including electrical goods and homewares.

Online sales for the five weeks were also up, 27.9%, on last year. Online sales exceeded £600m for the year to date.

Even though the fourth week of the period (Sunday December 18 to Saturday December 24 inclusive) had an extra day’s trade, John Lewis made sales of £124.7m, up 32.7% on sales for the same week in 2010.

The fifth week of the period (Sunday December 25 to Saturday December 31 inclusive) saw sales of £101.3m, down 4.8% year on year. However, these were against sales for the week before the VAT increase on Jan 1 2011.

Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis, said in a statement:

“Sales during the four weeks to Christmas Eve were outstanding. The first week of Clearance saw a very strong start, but against the pre-VAT increase week in 2010, it was always going to be a challenge to match sales, particularly with ‘big ticket’ items.”



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