Fashion sales at John Lewis dived 8.9% for the week to February 28, although the retailer said it was “no surprise” due to the tough comparisons with last year.
Total sales were down 10.3% for the period to £43.89 million.
John Lewis said that the shift of Easter to three weeks later in the calender than last year meant the the week’s figures were up against figures for the week leading up to Mother’s Day last year.
However, John Lewis predicted a strong Easter performance, but warned that the trade could be challenging until April.
John Lewis head of selling development Barry Matheson said it would be difficult for the retailer to give a true like-for-like comparison for several weeks.
He said: “The Easter shift has a significant influence on a number of our gifting areas and it was therefore no surprise to be down on last year. We had anticipated that and we are now going to face several weeks where it will not be easy to gain a true like-for-like comparison until the impact of Easter has worked its way through the calendar.”