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John Lewis sales growth disappoints

Sales at John Lewis rose 2.2% for the week to February 2, slower growth than expected.

The department store group had an increase of 7.6% in the same week of the previous year. The business said bad weather hit trading at out-of-town stores.

However sales at the London Oxford Street store were up 12.9% over the week, with Southampton and Knight & Lee in Southsea stores up 4.3% and 3.4% respectively. The Edinburgh shop had a sales rise of 3.6%.

Selling operations director Nat Wakely said: "It was a slightly slower start to the new year than we hoped for at 2.2% on last year. However, it was a week of ups and downs across the days of the week and across the country."

Fashion sales on women's, men's and kidswear were up 4.5% across the business.

Wakely added: "Boyswear and girlswear both made strong double-digit advances, as did own-brand womenswear. A strong theme across the business, especially in fashion, is the success of all the new merchandise that is coming on stream on our shopfloors."

Sales at John Lewis Direct were up 36.6%

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