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John Lewis kicks off Christmas with 4.5% sales hike

John Lewis said that like-for-like sales rose 4.5% for the week to December 1, marking a strong start to the Christmas shopping season.

The department store said week-on-week sales were up 9.3%, with womenswear helping to drive trade last week.

John Lewis said its "little black prom dress" had proved to be a winner and said that luggage sales were also ahead, suggesting people may go away over the Christmas holiday period.

Dan Knowles, director of selling operations said: "We are very encouraged by our sales in womenswear this week which highlight that increasingly shoppers are seeing John Lewis as a fashion destination. It also looks as though this will be a sociable Christmas as sales show families are investing in home entertainment systems. Many haven't been put off by England's recent performance on the pitch either - football tables are proving to be a hugely popular purchase for Christmas 2007."

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