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John Lewis five weeks to Dec 28 sales rise 7.2%

January 03, 2014 (United Kingdom)

John Lewis publishes its five-week trading update, revealing that the retailer saw both bricks and clicks break records.

For the five weeks to 28 December 2013, total sales were £734m, 7.2 per cent up compared with last year, 6.9 per cent on a like-for-like basis. Shops increased by 1.2 per cent. Compared with two years ago total sales were 23.1 per cent up whilst like-for-like sales grew by 20.5 per cent.

Online sales for the five weeks were 22.6 per cent up on last year with johnlewis.com accounting for 31.8 per cent of the total John Lewis business during this period. Click & Collect orders were 61.8 per cent up on last year.

Electricals and Home Technology sales were 10.7 per cent up on last year. Fashion, including Beauty, was 8.5 per cent up whilst Home increased by 2.0 per cent.

The five weeks saw a number of records fall. Black Friday (29 November) was the biggest ever day for online orders, the final pre-Christmas week (ending 21 December) broke the £160m barrier for the first time and the first day of Clearance in branches (27 December) was the biggest ever day for our shops and the business as a whole, taking £35.6m.

Changing shopping habits were also highlighted during December. John Lewis saw its prediction that this year will be the UK's first 'mobile Christmas' come true. On Christmas Day, traffic from mobile phones and tablets made up three quarters of total traffic, overtaking that from desktops by a considerable margin.

Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis, said: 'This Christmas has seen trade take a different shape to previous years, with an early peak driven by Black Friday and a huge surge in the final 10 days. Many of the big online shopping days and weeks occurred earlier in the period but shops were packed in the last-minute rush on 'manic Monday' (23 December) when we saw our city centre shops record peak days.

'The shift to mobile devices for online shopping has been confirmed but the in-store sale is well and truly thriving, as shown by the record first day for Clearance in our shops on 27 December. With new highs in branches as well as for johnlewis.com, this has been a genuine omni-channel Christmas.

'Partners on the shop floor and in our call centres delivered the high levels of service our customers have come to expect, reinforced by excellent behind-the-scenes support from Operations and IT. Shoppers also appreciated the value and trust that are underpinned by our 'Never Knowingly Undersold' promise.

'Customers sought inspiration from our broad range of gifts and decorations. Must-have products included tablets, indoor and outdoor Christmas lights, crackers, coffee machines, gift food, Lego, hair straighteners, DAB radios, cashmere, audio streaming systems and beauty and fragrance products from brands including Liz Earle, Clarins and Chanel.

'Many also fell in love with our TV advert which has received over 11.5 million views on YouTube since launch. The soundtrack reached number one in the charts on two occasions, soft toy versions of the bear and hare flew off the shelves, young shoppers visited our in-store caves in droves and the book telling the story of the characters was our best-selling children's title.

'I am extremely pleased with the results of the past five weeks. Our growth of 7.2 per cent is broadly based and we expect to have outperformed the market. It bodes well for trade in 2014.'


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