John Lewis gets Christmas sales boost

Black Friday, Christmas and post-Christmas trading at John Lewis was boosted by online sales, which rose 21.4 per cent, offsetting a fall in store sales, reports The BBC.

Like-for-like sales at Waitrose, which is part of the same group, fell 1.4 per cent.

John Lewis Partnership chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield told the BBC that “grocery is challenging”.

However, he said: “We’re pleased with our overall results, we think they’ll be pretty much in line with the market.”

He added that John Lewis’ Black Friday sales had been “more heavily weighted towards online” than in previous years, and that its shops had not been as busy as on previous Black Fridays.

John Lewis sent out 18 per cent more parcels than a year earlier in the Black Friday sales period – peaking at five parcels a second in its busiest hour, John Lewis Partnership said in a statement.

Sir Charlie added that shop sales in John Lewis’ post-Christmas “clearance” sales had risen 16 per cent.

The employee-owned firm, which runs 46 John Lewis shops, shrugged off unusually mild December weather as fashion, home and technology sales were boosted.

The mild weather adversely affected retailers including Next, which said on Monday that its trading performance in the run-up to Christmas had been “disappointing”.

In the six weeks to Saturday 2 January, total sales at John Lewis Partnership were up 4.1 per cent from the same period last year to £1.8bn.