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John Lewis buying director Ed Connolly is ‘optimistic’ for October

Buying director of fashion and beauty at John Lewis Ed Connolly said the retailer has an “optimistic outlook” for October following a strong week of trade across the UK.

Total sales were up 6.9% to £85.95m for the week to September 26, with all three buying directorates (fashion, home and electrical) all up year on year.

Fashion sales were up 5.9% for the week driven by new autumn ranges and the department store group’s ‘Extravaganza’ promotions.

Highlights included John Lewis own brand collections, sales of which were up 16% on 2014. Women’s cashmere had an “outstanding” performance according to Connolly, 46% on last year. Cold weather accessories were up 23%. On menswear, new brands for the group Thomas Pink and Hugo Boss helped men’s branded buy increase by 14%.

Connolly said: “A strong week of trade to round off a positive set of figures for September. Last week saw the opening of our latest full-line department store in Birmingham’s new Grand Central station. A really promising start for the new team, as they reported an amazing first week of sales. With the Christmas shop opening in all branches this week, and as momentum behind our gifting assortments continues, we have an optimistic outlook for October.”

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