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Jigsaw lifts John Lewis's fashion

Department store John Lewis has boosted its fashion credentials by bringing in a raft of new womenswear brands, including Jigsaw.

Jigsaw will go into John Lewis stores in London's Oxford Street, Southampton, Milton Keynes, Edinburgh, Leicester and Bristol's Cribbs Causeway this autumn.

The department store will be the only retailer to sell Jigsaw clothing outside of the brand's own stores. It will be sold as part of John Lewis's typical sale or return model, where the brand provides the stock but John Lewis staffs the department. The launch follows John Lewis's exclusive partnerships with niche retailers including Reiss and Fat Face.

John Lewis is also introducing Danish label Part Two, which will go into the department store exclusively in July, and Swedish brand Day Birger et Mikkelsen, which will debut in August.

BCBG Max Azria will also be added to the retailer's womenswear brand roster, and young fashion brands Bench and Fullcircle will be introduced this autumn.

John Lewis fashion buying director Peter Ruis said the business wanted to become the first port of call for aspirational international brands wanting to establish a UK presence.

Ruis said: "We want to offer the kind of point of difference you get in an independent retailer. Previously, brands may have taken our rivals more seriously than us, but in view of our recent good trading form and the kind of brands we now have, they are looking at us."

Womenswear sales are up 26% since February compared with last year, with Whistles up 43%, Jaeger up 39%, and Seven For All Mankind up 25%.

For the week to April 5, fashion sales at John Lewis stores were up 2.5%, above the total for all departments which saw a 2% rise.

Head of supply chain and administration Andy Banks said: "Overall, a very encouraging result, given the competing distractions of various sporting events at the weekend and the brighter weather midweek. Overall sales were up 6% on the equivalent post-Easter week. Oxford street led with an impressive performance."

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