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John Lewis has slow February

Department store John Lewis returned to sales growth for the week to February 23, but said that February had been a soft month for trading.

Sales were up 2.7% for the week to February 23, an improvement from the "toughest week in recent memory" for the previous week, when sales were down 3.4%.

However sales for the four weeks to February 23 rose only 1.7%, with fashion sales for the four weeks down 3.1%.

Managing director Andy Street said: "Our four-week figure of 1.7 per cent, including the foodhall, is a slowdown from the cracking December and January form, but is, we suspect, still very respectable against the market."

Clothing performed well at the business for the week, up 5.2% and Street said the category posted a "powerful week" with childrenswear taking the lead and school uniform sales were boosted by the split half-term weeks.

Branded menswear traded most successfully in the menswear category. In womenswear the branded and own brand offer both "won through", said Street.

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