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Quiet week at John Lewis sees fashion sales slip

Fashion sales slipped slightly at John Lewis last week as milder weather discouraged shoppers from buying knitwear however overall sales at the department store group remained flat.

For the week to September 24 overall sales increased by 0.1% to £58.74m including VAT.

Fashion sales failed to beat last year’s figure, with sales for the week down 0.7%. Knitwear was key to this decline. Across men’s, women’s and kidswear sales were consistent, but menswear and sportswear saw a 1% increase on the same week last year. Handbags rose 17%.

John Lewis’ online sales had the smallest increase in September but nonetheless still rose by 21%.

Just the stores in Poole and Sheffield posted sales growth for the week with sales increasing by 8% and 3% respectively.

Director for selling operations Nat Wakely said: “It was a much quieter end to the week in terms of footfall given the milder weather compared to frost a year ago. So, it was pleasing in that context to cross the line against last year, giving us, I am sure, a market-beating increase for the month of September.”

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