John Lewis has good fashion week but overall sales are down

Despite being one of the generally stronger players in UK retail, John Lewis continued to struggle with slowing sales in the latest week. On Tuesday the department stores and e-tail firm said that sales for the seven days to January 13 fell 3.8% year-on-year to £85.7 million.


John Lewis/Patternity


At least its fashion sales didn’t drop, although their 0.3% increase was certainly nothing to cheer about. However, the company did see some good figures in womenswear. The category’s 6% increase at a time when the clearance period is starting to wind down and before consumers have worked up any enthusiasm for early spring product was actually pretty impressive and suggests that fashion should continue to be a star  performer for the firm this year.

The week was perhaps boosted by its new Patternity collaboration, which the firm had flagged up last week. However, it didn't specify what product sold well this time round.

Women’s accessories also had a good seven days with a 3.4% rise, while the firm’s nursery category rose 4.5%.

Home sales were down once again. While the womenswear rise hinted at future fashion strength, the week’s 4.4% Home drop hinted that 2018 might remain as weak as 2017 was for John Lewis’s interiors and homewares offer. But cookshop product rose 5.25 and gift food and seasonal products powered ahead by 8%.

Electrical and Home Technology sales were down a fairly hefty 6%, which is perhaps unsurprising in the post-Christmas period. But accessories and wearable device performed well, driven by sales of Apple Airpods.

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