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John Lewis Christmas Sales Soar 6.9%

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John Lewis

John Lewis had a jolly Christmas as shoppers splashed out in the sales.

The British department store retailer said Wednesday that revenue was up 6.9% to 951.3 million pounds (around $1.4 billion) in the six weeks ended Jan. 2, compared with last year, reporting “impressive growth” across its fashion, home and technology divisions.

Fashion sales, in particular, were up 6.1%.

“This has been a strong Christmas trading period for the partnership despite the non-food market seeing significant shifts in trade patterns and the grocery market continuing to be challenging,” Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, stated, adding that the group’s Waitrose supermarket chain experienced a later-than-usual rush that saw sales surge 6 percent on Dec. 23 and 5.5% on Dec. 24.

But John Lewis was the real jewel in the holiday shopping season’s crown, reporting a successful start to its clearance event—which kicked off in stores on Dec. 27 but began online on Christmas Eve—with sales up 23 percent during the first week, including a 16.2% increase in sales at brick-and-mortar shops.

Menswear was a “standout success” in the post-Christmas period, recording a 44 percent rise in sales in the week ended Jan. 2, while sales of both cold-weather items and new-season products drove a 27 percent increase in womenswear.

“After a strong start, with further markdowns live this week, we’re hopeful for a successful clearance,” Christine Kasoulis, buying director for home, said.

In-store sales for the overall six-week period, however, were down 1.2%. Meanwhile, online sales grew 21.4% compared to last year, with sales from smartphones and tablets growing 31 percent.

In addition, the retailer’s Click & Collect program reported a 16 percent rise in sales, proving to be the delivery method of choice for half of all online orders.

Mayfield added, “Click & Collect continued to show the strength of our two brands working together as a proposition for customers, with 35 percent of John Lewis online orders collected from Waitrose branches.”

The John Lewis Partnership currently operates 46 John Lewis stores and 346 Waitrose supermarkets across the U.K., in addition to e-commerce for both. The business has annual gross sales of more than 10 billion pounds (or $14.5 billion).

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