Fashion sales at John Lewis fell 13.1% in the week to September 13 against the year before, with the department store chain blaming the milder weather and lower footfall due to reduced promotional activity on the high street.
Overall sales excluding Waitrose were down 3.5%, with the poor performance in fashion offset to a degree by sales of electricals, homeware and technology.
Online sales were up 5.6%, again driven by non-fashion categories.
Buying director Johnathan Marsh said: “With children now back at school, thoughts would usually turn to winter essentials; however, the unseasonably warmer days are delaying these purchases. Footfall was restricted on the year due to less promotional activity on the high street.”
He continued: “Despite the forecast for continuing mild weather, and with Christmas launching online, we are confident that our seasonal assortment will inspire customers to invest in products for the coming months.”