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Womens and kidswear at John Lewis see boost from early warm weather

John Lewis posted a “solid” 6.5% rise in sales to £57.94m against strong comparatives last week.

Fashion grew 2% in the week to March 24, while increasing 6.6% in the eight weeks up to March 24.

John Lewis said sales had benefitted from customers starting to build their summer wardrobes as a result of early warm weather and had responded well to John Lewis’ own-brand womenswear.

Kidswear also saw uplift, particularly in babywear and boyswear. If the fine weather continued, it said, it would bode well for Easter.

The department store said unseasonably warm weather had presented “opportunities and challenges” for the retailer with comparisons on a year earlier. Other categories such as homewares had seen a negative impact but a stronger performance from outdoor was expected.

The retailer’s home store in Poole recorded the strongest performance with a 25.3% while the laggard was Peterborough, down 13.4%. John Lewis’ out-of-town shops felt the impact of reduced footfall hardest.

John Lewis retail services director Barry Matheson said: “As we look ahead, our ability to make year-on-year comparisons becomes complicated by the fall of Easter.

“My read on things is that we are in good shape to take maximum advantage of the opportunities ahead and we have the forthcoming Spring Celebration weekend next week which I’m sure partners will really enjoy getting behind.”

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