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John Lewis sales drop 8.3%

Department store John Lewis has reported a sharp fall in sales over the week to September 27 as economic turmoil kept consumers away.

Sales at the business fell to £48.72 million with sales at the usually more buoyant fashion directive falling 6%.

Dan Knowles, John Lewis director of region B selling operations, said: "A combination of unseasonably sunny, warm weather and a huge amount of coverage of the global economic situation added together to give a very tough trading week.

"The market is tougher than it's been for a long while – and John Lewis will be rigorous in continuing to do the right things for partners and customers, driving sales, taking share, and managing our cost base for long term development."

The retailer's Oxford Street store and the John Lewis website were the only positive outlets in the portfolio over the week with sales up 4% and 15.5% respectively. However Southampton and Bristol's Cribbs Causeway posted some big falls, with sales down 24.5% and 24.6% respectively.

Knowles added that the new womenswear campaign featuring model Karen Elson has been a success: "The new womenswear campaign has helped drive footfall into branches, as well as sales of the featured categories – and in my branch visits I've been struck by how positively this campaign has been received by womenswear selling partners."

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