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Fashion sales slip back at John Lewis as focus turns to autumn

Fashion sales at department store chain John Lewis slipped back by 5.2% in the week to July 2, following last week’s flying start to its Clearance Sale.

The retailer said clothing sales were up by 8% year-on-year across the Sale as whole, which it adds rises to more like 10% including brands that were on sale before the Clearance began, but fashion overall has fallen back from last week’s leading position.

It added that focus in the fashion department will now turn to introducting autumn 11 collections and the “sales opportunities” from a swift switch to new season.

Sales across the chain tumbled 3.4% last week but the year-on-year comparison was muddied by the timing of its Sale.

John Lewis reported revenues of £64.7m in the period to July 2 and described the performance as “solid” when it was taken into account that the Sale this year is earlier than in 2010.

No stores generated a sales increase over the week but during the 10 days of clearance 14 delivered revenue uplifts. Online sales rose 18.9% driven by a strong performance of homewares and electrical goods.

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