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John Lewis sales slide but fashion is strong

Sales at John Lewis slipped back by 1.3% last week, the eighth decline in nine weeks, although the retailer said it had a strong first week of Clearance.

Sales over the week to July 5 were £61.5 million a fall of 1.3% against the previous year. However, the retailer said that sales had been driven up by a strong performance on Saturday when sales rose more than 8 %.

The fashion category led the way, with own-brand womenswear, brands and childrenswear all delivering double-digit growth.

Fashion sales were up 8.2% on the same week last year.

John Lewis director of selling operations Dan Knowles said: "It looks like we will have had a good clearance, clearing much of our old stock as well as selling good volumes of full-priced merchandise."

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