John Lewis sales fell 11.6% to £43.18m for the week ended April 18 due to warm weather and a shorter trading period because of Easter Sunday, but fashion sales were ahead 5%.
John Lewis said the 11.6% fall in sales could have been worse, but it was helped by brisk weekday trading coming out of the Easter weekend. The department store ended the two-week Easter period down 7% on Easter last year.
Fashion sales rose 5% over the week with kidswear making good gains - girl’s clothing and kid’s footwear sales were up 30%.
John Lewis said that branded men’s casualwear had been popular and that while sports clothing and footwear had also performed well. Within women’s footwear, the warm weather boosted sales of sandals.
John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: “With Easter behind us, we have an accurate read of trade for the year to date at -6.6%; clearly very challenging, but somewhat better than we predicted. No doubt this is partly due to the excellent operational performance we have achieved across the division. That is good news as, if ever there is a time for the basics to be right, it is now.”