John Lewis described the week to August 29 as “difficult” as warm weather and a late bank holiday led to “tough trading” and a 3.4% drop in sales to £81.73m.
Fashion sales fell 0.9% for the week as summer products including swimwear proved most popular with shoppers. Women’s formalwear also performed well suggesting many were shopping for late summer weddings. John Lewis’ collaboration with designer Bruce Oldfield launched in 10 stores and online during the week although no early reaction has been provided.
Online sales were up 6.9% for the week year on year.
Paula Nickolds, buying and brand director at John Lewis, said: “A tough trading period closed with another difficult week, but with definite signs in the run up to the bank holiday weekend that there is plenty of pent-up demand for us to target in September.
“While warm weather and the late bank holiday has kept customers’ minds focused on summer, we are now well set to capitalise on the transition into a ‘new season’ shopping mindset. With so much to look forward to in the coming weeks, we’re well set for an encouraging September.”