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Weekly sales 'slack' at John Lewis, but first-half ends well

Sales growth at department store chain John Lewis slackened last week as the good weather put consumers off visiting stores, but the retailer said it has had a good first-half.

Total sales at John Lewis rose 1.2% to £53.3m in the week to July 30, bringing the advance at the end of the half-year to 2.6%, which managing director Andy Street said he was “well pleased” about. Excluding VAT, sales fell 0.6%.

“We have outperformed competitors across electrical, home and fashion and most definitely in online,” he said.

Fashion was the leader, with sales rising 2.9% over the week. The retailer reported gains in all fashion buying groups with women’s accessories dominating. Womenswear and kidswear were level at 5%. The retailer also reported “dynamic” menswear results in casual and formal categories.

Four of the retailer’s stores recorded weekly sales rises. Online revenues climbed 33.6%.

Street said: “We go into the all-important second half in very good shape. More new products have arrived earlier than last year, the marketing ideas are fresh, and our supply chain is in robust form ahead of its peak.

“What’s more, our June and July results have been relatively strong, and should provide just the momentum and confidence we need to outperform our competitors when it matters most. That’s the mission for the coming months.”

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