Sunshine dents UK shopping appetite but John Lewis own-brands stay strong

today Jul 3, 2018
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John Lewis Partnership sales edged up just 1%, hitting £230.5 million, in the seven days to June 30, but that didn’t help the John Lewis department stores unit.

John Lewis

While Waitrose supermarket sales rose nearly 8%, the John Lewis chain saw its total sales falling an unaccustomed 7.9% last week with the ongoing heatwave in Britain hurting its sales figures as Britons found other ways to spend their time rather than shopping.

That meant Fashion directory sales were down 3.5%, which isn’t what John Lewis is used to as fashion has been one of its star categories in the past year, driven by the strength of its own-brands.

But there was some good news on the fashion front as those women’s own-brand lines continued to rise. Their 18% increase certainly justified the company’s recently-announced brand strategy that will see it diving even deeper into in-house lines.

Also strong last week were sunglasses - perhaps not a surprise given the weather - which rose 79%. Other warm weather clothing also increased, with a 27% sales uplift.

But the Home directory, which has been sluggish for some time, saw its sales falling as much as 13.5%. The company didn’t say what in particular was weak, but it told us what sold well. Outdoor living was a bright spot and low-tog duvet sales were up 36%, while picnic products were up 27% as customers prepared to head outside to enjoy the weather. Hydration, which includes reusable water bottles, also saw an uplift of 26%.

And while the company’s electricals/home tech (EHT) sales fell nearly 7%, wearable technology rose (although we don’t know by how much), driven by new launches. 

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