John Lewis has tough week but sunglasses and swimwear surge

today Aug 28, 2019
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John Lewis Partnership sales fell in the latest week with a 1.9% drop taking them just below £207 million. But while the Waitrose supermarkets operation saw sales edging up slightly, unfortunately the John Lewis department stores chain wasn't in such a good position.

John Lewis

Total sales at the department stores and the chain’s webstore fell as much as 5.5% year-on-year in the seven days up to August 24.

Even the Fashion department, which is usually the strongest division in the business, was down 4.4%. While John Lewis didn’t share a reason for this, given that the weather has been improving, it could well be that autumn season merchandise didn't prove particularly appealing and that consumers were more concerned with getting out and making the most of the sunny weather than with shopping.

That said, the company did report surging sales of swimwear (which was up 27%) and an even faster acceleration in sunglasses sales (up an impressive 42%) “as customers prepared for the record-breaking temperatures over the bank holiday weekend.”

However, the Home department continued its run of weak figures with overall turnover down 7%, even though hydration product sales were up 20%, driven by sales of reusable water bottles. The Home department has proved to be a real problem for John Lewis in the last year and its performance is showing absolutely no sign of a turnaround.

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