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Price matching drives weekly sales rise at John Lewis

Sales at John Lewis department stores climbed 4.4% last week lifted by an “outstanding” fashion performance as the retailer price-matched a rival’s promotion.

Revenues came in at £72m in the week to November 5 and, excluding VAT, the rise was 2.6%.

Fashion sales jumped 10.9% on the back of demand for branded and own-brand clothing and shoes across the women’s, men’s and childrenswear categories as shoppers responded to promotional prices.

Sales of home goods rose by 3.7% as consumers began Christmas preparations. There was a double-digit rise in sales from the Christmas shop and Christmas tree sales rose 50% year-on-year.

Electricals and home technology revenues fell 1.4% however.

Online sales increased by 20.6% and four stores were in positive territory, headed by Oxford Street which was up 4.2%.

John Lewis fashion and beauty buying director Suzanne Given said: “Altogether a solid performance as we enter the all-important final quarter.

“Christmas lights were lit around the UK last week, and fireworks set off over the weekend, and our highly anticipated Christmas TV advert launches on Saturday during X Factor – it is beginning to feel like Christmas and, with a bit of ground frost on its way, we will look to retain last week’s momentum as we trade into November.”

Sales at sister grocery business Waitrose climbed 8.2% to £107.7m. Waitrose also benefited from Christmas demand – seasonal snacks and confectionery were ahead 25% and gift sales rose 59% year-on-year.

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