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John Lewis weekly sales dip, warns of 'testing' year ahead

John Lewis has reported a slight dip in sales for the week ending January 29 and warned that the year ahead would be more “testing”.

For the week to January 29, John Lewis’ final trading week of its financial year, sales were down 0.9%. Excluding VAT, sales were down 3.1%. Only its Peter Jones, Cambridge, Trafford and Glasgow were up on last year.

Some of its prominent department stores had a tough week. Bluewater was down 11.8%, Cribbs Causeway was down 11%, Brent Cross was down 9.9% and Oxford Street was down 2.4%. However, John Lewis said 15 shops exceeded their trade of two years ago.

Johnlewis.com was up 19%, driven by momentum in double-digit increases in fashion.

For the week, fashion sales were “steady”, the department store said, with “interest showing” in men’s and women’s clothing

John Lewis retail director Andrew Murphy said: “The year ahead promises to be even more testing, but we are budgeting for growth.”

Separately, the John Lewis Partnership - which also owns grocer Waitrose - has appointed Baroness (Sarah) Hogg, chairman of the Financial Reporting Council and senior independent director of BG Group, and David Anderson, non-executive director of NFU Mutual Insurance Societt and chairman of thinktank Mutuo, as non-executive directors.

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