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John Lewis first-half fashion sales jump 9.1%

John Lewis has revealed a healthy 9.1% boost in its fashion sales for the first half of 2014, ahead of the release of its full sales figures in early September.

Sales across John Lewis grew 9.4% in the first six months of the year. Online saw particularly strong growth, with transactions up 25.7%. Data was not provided for store growth.

The 9.1% rise in fashion sales meant the department lagged behind electricals, which reported 11.7% growth, but was ahead of homewares, which saw 7.4% growth.

Sales growth in the fashion department for the week ending July 26 was just above its first-half growth, at 10%. The continued sunshine last week drove warm-weather accessories sales, with sunglasses up 31%. Overall John Lewis sales were £69.4m for the week ending July 26, up from £63.9m for the same week in 2013.

Paula Nickolds, buying and brand director for John Lewis, said the first-half results were “really hard won and a real team effort.” The business’ operations teams were singled out for “continuing to meet the demands of our sales growth admirably.” Some 30,000 deliveries a week were made to customers over the past month, Nickolds added.

Overall sales for the wider John Lewis Partnership, which includes takings from supermarket Waitrose, were up 6.3% on last year in the first 26 weeks of trading. Waitrose sales in the “turbulent” food market dragged behind John Lewis sales, up 5.2% on last year, managing director Mark Price said.

The partnership will announce like-for-like sales and profit for the first half in its full interim results on September 11.

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