John Lewis posts highest ever weekly sales

LONDON – British retailer John Lewis Plc posted its highest ever total weekly sales from its online and physical stores due to a pre-Christmas shopping rush.

The group recorded a total of 142 million pounds ($227.49 million) of sales in the week ending Saturday, 8 Dec., up 15 percent on the same period last year.

“It’s a record week by 9 million pounds, which really has taken us aback. It’s a level of increase we just hadn’t anticipated,” said Andrew Murphy, John Lewis Retail Director.

The colder weather across Britain boosted fashion sales, particularly sales of coats, scarves and knitwear in both menswear and womenswear. Toys and electronics also saw major uplifts.

Murphy said sales were also helped as another British retailer, electrical chain Comet, entered administration in November.

It was also a record week for online sales, which totaled 42 million pounds, with the company’s highest ever one-day online sales of 7.3 million pounds recorded on Monday.

“There’s no doubt that online is growing significantly faster,” Murphy said.

One third of online sales are collected in store, a trend that Murphy said shows customers acknowledge the relevance of having a physical location.

The performance of stores differed across regions. Of the 35 stores that were open at this time last year, 15 have increased sales and 10 have seen sales decline.

Murphy told Reuters that the Midlands, with the exception of the city of Birmingham, remains one of the toughest regions for the group.

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