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John Lewis sees sales dip

John Lewis saw sales dip last week as the school holiday period and warmer weather distracted shoppers.

Total sales at the department store chain dropped by 1.4% to £51.75m in the week to August 6.

Fashion sales also dipped by 1.4% but were driven by demand for new ranges and as the south of the country enjoyed warm weather there was another surge for shorts and T-shirts. New ranges have been brought into stores earlier than before, which paid off on boyswear, menswear brands, accessories, own bought womenswear and lingerie. However, head of multi channel Simon Russell said it was a quieter week for womenswear brands.

As the back to school season starts, schoolwear saw a 13% rise from the previous week.

Russell said: “The peak August school holiday period can often be very erratic for retailers given there are plenty of distractions to shopping and last week was no exception. We just missed last year’s target by less than 2%, not helped by the balmy weather in the south nor the close of the M25 towards the weekend. Nevertheless, this was an impressive 13.9% up over two years.”

He added: “With the British Retail Consortium confirming very tough trading right across the high street, we should be pleased at how we have navigated the difficult trading conditions better than most.”

The John Lewis website saw a rise of 21.1% and Russell described it as a “storming week” for click and collect.

Just two of the branches saw a sales rise, with the cooler Scottish climate helping the Glasgow and Edinburgh branches, which saw rises of 5% and 0.1% respectively.

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