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John Lewis sales slump 9.8%

Sales at department store John Lewis fell by 9.8% to £52 million for the week ended October 25.

Fashion sales fell 1.3% over the period.

John Lewis said that women’s accessories had a strong week, with handbags and footwear enjoying selling well. In menswear, accessories also led the way, with Christmas gifts seeing early demand.

John Lewis managing director Andy Street added that despite the fall in sales, John Lewis was confident that it would be a “winner” this Christmas.

Street said: “The evidence is that although our customers are being far more judicious in their spending, they are still choosing to spend with us. That is credit to the work we have done on assortment, shop-keeping and availability, and serves to remind us that there will still be winners this Christmas. We are on course to be among them.”

All of the stores in John Lewis’ 27-strong portfoilo posted sales falls, including John lewis Oxford Street which saw sales fall back 11%.

However John Lewis Direct, the retailer’s website, recorded a sales lift of 7.8% year-on-year.

Street added: “This week sees the majority of the country on half term and the first real step-up to our Christmas peak. By the end of the week, all shops will be dressed for Christmas and November will be upon us. For sure, it is going to be a testing Christmas, but our readiness is second to none.”

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