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John Lewis has record clearance period

John Lewis had a record start to its clearance with sales up 4.6% between December 27 and January 2.

Sales were £81.9 million over the period. Managing director Andy Street said: "Clearance got off to a fabulous start as we took more money on the first day, December 27 than ever before, and at over £20m this was 8.7% ahead of our previous biggest day."

In addition sales rose 7.6% for the week to December 29. Sales including the food hall were up 8% to £70.2m for the week.

Menswear, leisure and beauty sales rose 31.2% for the period, with womenswear sales rising 14.2% and kidswear, toys and crafts up 9.2%.

Director of retail operations Patrick Lewis said that sales of lingerie, menswear and accessories had helped drive sales, and that all of the categories were up 25% on the previous year.

He said: "We have had three weeks of growth at double our average rate for the half. The first two secured us weekly sales above £100m for the first time, and a very strong Christmas Eve and a record first day of clearance put us 7.6% up on last year."

Online sales were up 67.5%. The Aberdeen store topped the growth rate for the week to December 29, up 24.8% but sales at Bluewater in Kent were down 4.9%.

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