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Fashion leads John Lewis

John Lewis saw sales rise 0.4% to £49.79 million for the week ended July 19 as transitional stock began to pick up.

John Lewis said that fashion sales led the group again, rising 5.7% over the week. Own label merchandise was particularly strong. Branded stock also sold well across both Sale and new stock.

Kidswear made double digit increases across girlswear and babywear.

John Lewis said although it would clear remaining spring stock over the next fortnight, new merchandise would be its major focus.

John Lewis retail operations director Patrick Lewis said: "The positive initial reaction gives us a clear opportunity to make the most of. Looking further ahead, we are all primed for the back to school season. Our new ranges offer great quality and design at keen prices, and our merchandisers have expanded our departments to manage the extra footfall and show off our product at its best."

Meanwhile, sales at rose by 38.3% over the week, thanks to a 50% increase in traffic to the website.

However 19 John Lewis stores saw negative sales in week 25, but London Oxford Street was up 9.4% and Edinburgh saw sales rise 4.9%.

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