John Lewis sluggish, fashion weaker but accessories and beauty do well

today May 8, 2019
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It was another sluggish week for John Lewis Partnership in the seven days to May 4 as overall sales fell 2.5% to £214.66 million. And the John Lewis department stores chain didn’t do any better with a drop of 2.6% in the latest week.

John Lewis

That was due to the fact that the company “annualised price matching a competitor event last year.” However, it said that it “had a strong Bank Holiday weekend, with the cooler weather driving footfall to our shops compared to the very hot weather on the same weekend last year.”

The May Day holiday was decidedly lacklustre weather-wise and could never match the blistering hot weather of a year ago, nor the very sunny four-day Easter weekend.

That said, footfall may have benefited, but Fashion department sales were still down, by 2.1%. Again, the drop was due to the fact that last year, the chain was matching competitor promotional activity, which would have boosted sales artificially in 2018. 

However, this year, promotional activity in Beauty and Women's Accessories “performed particularly well.”

Unfortunately, the Home department didn’t get any kind of uplift and its sales were down 9.1%, even though performance over the Bank Holiday weekend was much stronger than earlier in the week and particularly good given that last year had seen plenty of promotions for the department. Bedroom Furniture and Upholstery in particular performed well.

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