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Sales rise at John Lewis as Christmas buying begins

Signs of early Christmas shopping were evident last week at John Lewis department stores with fashion sales rising 5%.

Sales at John Lewis department stores business climbed 4% to £64.8m in the week to October 22. Excluding VAT the increase was 2.1%.

Fashion sales rose 5%, driven by childrenswear and womenswear.

John Lewis’s online business was up 21.8%, described by the retailer as “a slightly softer week after a cracking number the week before”. Six stores posted sales uplifts, led by Poole which was ahead 8.2%.

Looking forward, electricals and home technology buying director Ed Connolly said: “Big numbers against us this week must provide impetus for us to really go after every sale. It’s half-term week so we must capitalise on our biggest opportunity yet to capture sales and really build momentum towards peak.”

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