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John Lewis bucks trend with robust sales

John Lewis scored a strong performance for the week to April 12, with fashion sales up 15.2% against the same week last year.

John Lewis department stores racked up a 17.3% rise in sales to £49.2 million for the the week but this was flattered by an extra day’s trading against Easter Sunday last year. John Lewis said it was still 6% ahead of the comparable week last year. Sales for the 11 weeks to April 12 were up 3%.

Fashion sales were particularly impressive despite shortfalls in summer assortments and the generally weak trading environment. John Lewis said that own-label womenswear and branded womenswear both traded well. In menswear, casual brands performed strongly, with support from footwear and accessories.

High Wycombe led the shops thanks, in part, to its recent first-floor refurbishment. In London, Oxford Street set the pace but there was encouraging business for both Brent Cross and Peter Jones which swung to a 11.1% sales uplift against declines in previous weeks. Others to stand out were Southampton, Trafford, Aberdeen, Reading and Bluewater, all exploiting current promotions.

John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: “With just one more week of different comparison against Easter last year, our headline score has advanced to 3%, more respectable in the current climate, and we have certainly traded well over the Easter period. But the against figures are rising, so we need to exploit every single selling opportunity to sustain this form.”

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