John Lewis sales were down 6% for the week to December 13 compared to the same week last year. The business said that after allowing for the VAT reduction, the fall was 4%.
Within the overall figure sales of fashion were down 7.8%. John Lewis said that within fashion buying, the children’s, toys and crafts area performed best.
John Lewis managing director Andy Street said that the performance was good considering the economic conditions. He said: “In this challenging market, we must be pleased with this outcome. It shows that our customers, although more judicious in their purchasing than last year, have been loyal to us. And it is still possible that this current week will be the peak one, so a flourish in the final pre-Christmas days would round off a resilient campaign.”
Girlswear was strongest with boyswear, babywear and children’s footwear also strong. Branded womenswear was boosted by early markdowns while women’s footwear continued to do well.
John Lewis said that sales continued to rise week on week for the period from Sunday December 14 to Wednesday December 17, with kidswear performing well.
Stores in Cambridge, Liverpool, Bluewater, Aberdeen, Trafford, Norwich, Newcastle and Cheadle picked out for strong sales.
Yesterday, the business announced that it had appointed Patrick Lewis to the board and Gareth Thomas as retail operations director