John Lewis saw sales drop 13% in the week ending Saturday November 22, as the tough trading conditions continued to bite.
John Lewis, director of selling operations, Dan Knowles said: "Inevitably, because of the current economic climate, sales are still down on last year. However, this week has shown that Christmas shopping has certainly begun."
Knowles added: "A number of our competitors are now running discount days. Throughout these, John Lewis has maintained its Never Knowingly Undersold promise and matched competitors' prices, even on Sale items."
Pali International analyst Nick Bubb said: "Last week's dismal John Lewis [sales] still down more than 16% like-for-like, we estimate, despite more footfall on the high street and more helpful weather – illustrates the sheer depth of the current downturn in consumer spending, as unemployment soars, house prices slump and credit dries up."
Separately, John Lewis has stopped selling a 'Made in England' suit following the revelation that the majority of the suit was manufactured overseas. The £350 suit was supplied by Norwich-based Wensum tailoring, but it is understood that the vast majority of the suit was produced overseas, with just the arms and buttons sewn on at Wensum’s factory.