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John Lewis in profits bounce back

John Lewis is expected to say that profits at the department store chain have returned to pre-recession levels when it updates on its half-year results this month and has unveiled its autumn ad campaign.

The figures, set to be released on September 16, will show that profits have returned to 2008 levels after they slumped 50% to just £20m last year.

Homewares and fashion sales, each of which contribute about a third of the department store chain’s near £3bn turnover, have made the biggest impact on sales.

Fashion sales soar

Fashion sales jumped 19% in the six months to the end of July, after a massive push by the chain to drive its fashion credentials with initiatives including a website for the division and a revamped store fit for its womenswear offer. Last month alone, fashion sales were up 17%.

The department store will also unveil a £10m revamp of the womenswear floor in its Oxford Street store on Wednesday and has said that it will introduce the concept to the fashion floors of 20 stores over the next three years to increase sales by between 5% and 10%.

Womenswear overhaul

The department store will roll out the womenswear shop fit to stores including Peter Jones in south-west London, Brent Cross in North London, Newcastle, Southampton, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.It has already overhauled the shop fit in its stores in Cardiff, Bluewater, Welwycn and Cheadle.

On Thursday John Lewis will celebrate the reopening of its Oxford Street womenswear department by showcasing collaborations with designers Osman Yousefzada, Philip Treacy, William Tempest, Terry de Havilland and Alex Monroe in a pop-up shop on the first floor.

Autumn ad campaign

John Lewis has also invested in its first ever fashion catalogue for autumn 10 which is available in store and online and has launched its autumn print advertising campaign. The campaign features scenes in a grand hotel and railway carriage and will appear in glossy magazines and supplements as well as on an outdoor campaign on the London Underground.

It has pushed the button on an eight week online marketing campaign for the campaign and a commercial campaign in partnership with website Fashion Confidential.

For the first time the department store will also devote the whole of the front run of windows at its Oxford Street store to fashion from Friday.

Craig Inglis, director of marketing at John Lewis said: “We’re really proud of our fashion offering for the coming season so we’ve gone for a comprehensive marketing push. Our aim is to help drive reappraisal in our offer and to support and drive sales of our assortment in store and, increasingly important, online.”


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