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Cold weather drives fashion sales at John Lewis

John Lewis said total sales surged 12% to £88m in the week to Saturday after a strong performance from cold weather related clothing.

The figure is 14% higher than the previous week. John Lewis said that trading during the seven days to November 20 was “excellent” against strong comparatives with the same week a year ago. Sales were up 29% on two years ago.

Lesley Ballantyne, head of operational development at John Lewis, said: “We are delighted with last week’s excellent result, particularly as we are up against very strong figures from last year.

“The colder weather has encouraged customers to purchase from our fashion departments - gloves, hats and scarves are top performers.

“Gift buying has really taken off…. There is also real evidence that customers are continuing to get their homes ready for Christmas.”

The department store also said online sales would break the £500m barrier this year, the same target set by rival Marks & Spencer it is 2010-2011 year. John Lewis’ online strength has been driven by the successful launch of its fashion offer on johnlewis.com in September 2009.

The John Lewis website offers more than 150,000 products and now attracts more than 3 million unique visitors a week. The retailer will launch an overseas delivery service next year to parts of Europe.

The department store forecasted that Monday December 6 would be its busiest online shopping day of the year.

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