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Soft comparables boost John Lewis

John Lewis sales soared 38.7% to £74.7m in the week to January 8, driven by a strong performance in fashion and online and boosted by soft comparables because of snow in the same week last year.

John Lewis said it benefited from an additional bank holiday this year compared to last, and that shoppers had also rushed out to spend ahead of the VAT increase on January 4. The retailer experienced a footfall surge of 68% on Monday January 3.

John Lewis said fashion sales increased 35% over the week, driven by menswear and sportswear.

The department store said johnlewis.com had delivered “another amazing performance” with an increase of 42%. Online fashion sales jumped 33%.

John Lewis head of selling operations, at home, Maggie Porteous, said: “We are now moving rapidly towards the end of a very successful trading year. With that comes a focus on ‘getting our house in order’, be that if we work in head office or in the shops, where stocktaking is now under way. These last few weeks of the trading year are vital in ensuring that we end the year profitably and with a strong platform for 2011.”

High Wycombe was the best performing store, with sales up 73.3%.

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