John Lewis reports fall in Christmas week sales

The John Lewis store in Oxford Street, lit up for Christmas.

The John Lewis store in Oxford Street, lit up for Christmas. - Credit: PA

Department stores chain John Lewis said today that its sales during Christmas week fell 1.4% amid “shifting patterns in customer shopping” which included a strong Black Friday performance at the end of November.

The employee-owned firm said revenue for the week to December 27 stood at £126.2million, dragged down by electrical goods’ sales which fell 14.7% compared with a year ago. Sales had also fallen year-on-year, by 2.4%, in the previous week.

In the week to November 29, which included Black Friday, sales jumped 21.8% to a record £179.1 million - fuelled by electrical sales which rocketed by 40.9% - and surpassing the previous high set in the pre-Christmas week in 2013.

Online director Mark Lewis said: “The final week of our Christmas period saw the shifting patterns in customer shopping play out yet again.”

The weaker performance in the week before Christmas at John Lewis came despite a record 30% rise in click-and-collect online orders during the period and a 19% lift in online clearance sales on Christmas Day.

During the week the chain said its strong performers were women’s accessories and beauty sales, up 25%, and menswear and sports, both up 8%.

The firm added that due to calendar timings it expects to see some of its sales demand show up in the following week’s numbers.

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Waitrose, also part of the wider John Lewis Partnership, saw its sales lift 6.5% in the two weeks to December 27.

During this period the grocer said champagne sales jumped 14% compared with a year ago, turkey was up 10.9% and frozen lobster sales jumped 51%.

Rivals Tesco and Sainsbury’s are both broadly expected to report negative like-for-like Christmas trading next week