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Good weather tempers John Lewis' return to form

Strong sales growth returned at John Lewis, up 5.8% to £45.1 million for the week to February 9, although trading dipped with the good weather on Saturday.

Fashion stole the show last week with with double-figure gains of 11.3% across both men's and womenswear against 7.8% increases the week before.

Retail operations director Patrick Lewis said: "Steady trade on Sunday and Monday got us off to a healthy start. We then accelerated in the middle of the week against very low figures from last year when snowstorms held back trade.

That left us sitting on a strong increase going into Saturday, but beautiful weather diverted shoppers on the final day, making it impossible to maintain."

New stock also began to find favour at the business, with solid gains across the branded offer and own-brand ranges selling well.

In kidswear, girlswear secured the best clothing result.

The business said that six branches had sales increases above the 5% mark week-on-week. Sheffield topped the chart and London's Oxford Street, excluding the foodhall, was not far behind.

Aberdeen, Solihull, Knight & Lee in Southsea and Reading also scored well, with the latter getting a Valentine's boost from the launch of its men's lingerie academy.

John Lewis Direct also kept up its current pace with sales up 42.1% against 39.5% the week before.

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