Dec 17, 2019
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John Lewis sales fall but cashmere and personal care devices are strong

Dec 17, 2019

John Lewis has had a few good weeks on the back of Black Friday, but with that event now a more distant memory, in the seven days up to December 14, it saw its sales falling sharply.

John Lewis

Although anecdotal reports have shown the company’s stores to be busy, overall the department stores sector has had a tough time of it of late and this was borne out by the company saying on Tuesday that its total sales were down 11.9% in the latest week. This followed “a successful Black Friday”. 

However, as it worked to boost sales, it hosted ‘my JL’ customer shopping events across 48 shops “and saw strong demand from customers, with sales up 17.2% and footfall up 16%, compared to last year’s events”.

That said, the events didn't rescue the week's overall sales figures. Fashion department sales were down 13.3%, although sales of cashmere were up 6% “as customers layered up against the colder weather”. John Lewis has traditionally done well as the weather cooled and it has frequently reported higher sales for its cold weather fashion accessories and cashmere pieces.

But the troubled Home department’s sales were down again, this time by 6.3%, although sales of bedroom products were up 17% and furniture was up 53% “as customers prepared their homes for guests over the festive period”.

Electrical and Home Technology sales were down 14.7%, but small electrical sales were up 7% driven by personal care devices as customers bought Christmas gifts.

And it’s interesting too that ‘experiences’ sales were up 173% as customers enjoyed shopped for personalised Kit Kats and Fever Tree crackers, with Fever Tree sales up 90%.

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