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John Lewis Easter sales rise

Sales at John Lewis department stores were up 1.3% for the week to March 29.

The retailer said that the relatively modest figure disguised "a superb result", as when compared to the same Easter week last year sales were up 15%, boosted by colder weather over the Easter period.

Fashion sales "comfortably exceeded last year", according to head of selling development Barry Matheson.

Matheson said: "The increase was undoubtedly helped by the weather, where one of the coldest, wettest Easter Mondays got us off to a flying start. The pace continued throughout the week, especially in those shops where school holidays had begun, and in the end of the week nearly every shop beat its Easter figures from last year"

Southampton, Cribbs Causeway and Bluewater all saw rises of more than 15% on last year, while the Trafford store was the biggest riser, benefiting from the new Barton Square development in the centre.

John Lewis Direct sales rose 23.8%.

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