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John Lewis records a 'challenging' July

John Lewis reported a 1.2% drop in sales for the week to July 20, continuing a “challenging” month for the department store chain.

Sales dropped to £63.05m, compared with £63.84m during the same period last year.

Fashion sales fell 0.2% but womenswear saw a “great response to ‘hot weather’ promotions” and “real interest” in branded fashion.

Online sales experienced a 9% increase from last year.

Only three John Lewis branches recorded a year-on-year rise in sales this week.

Swindon was the strongest-performing branch, up 14.7%, followed by Milton Keynes up 8.3% and Leicester, where sales rose 2.4% on last year.

John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: “Taking the four weeks of July together trade has certainly been challenging. But the indications are that the heatwave is nearing a conclusion. Therefore this, the last week of the half, does give us the opportunity to make up some lost ground.”

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