Despite a week of severe economic turbulence, John Lewis customers are proving themselves to be resilient in preparing for Christmas. John Lewis announces today that sales last week (to Saturday 12 November) saw a small dip on last year (by 0.8 per cent) but an increase of 6 per cent on the previous week. The leading department store group achieved a sterling total of £76.3m.
Strong performances came from home furnishing services, particularly floor coverings and the seven day express curtains service, while sales of bedding saw significant increases. Throughout the country John Lewis branches have reported excellent sales of Christmas trees and gifts.
Clear gift trends which are emerging include technology - for both adults and children - and gift food, which offers John Lewis customers more choice of inspiring combinations than ever before.
Andrew Murphy, Retail Director, John Lewis, said: 'With very strong figures from last year against us, milder weather than is seasonal and the turbulent economic climate, our results show that our customers are beginning to think seriously about Christmas and making John Lewis their destination for purchases. They give us continued confidence that John Lewis' strong and innovative products, customer service and price matching will ensure our position as market leader on the high street over the festive season.'
This trading news comes the day after the country's best-loved retailer's Christmas television advertising began - watched by over 10 million viewers in a prime 'X Factor' slot last night. Hailed as the 'best ever' by scores of John Lewis customers, it has had almost 400,000 views on Youtube in just two days.
Commenting on its success, Craig Inglis, Marketing Director at John Lewis said: 'It's clear from comments in social media that with only 42 days to go, for many people the launch of the John Lewis advert signals the beginning of the countdown to Christmas. The performance of the advert's star, seven-year-old Lewis McGowan, seems to have captured the mood of the nation with many people commenting on the advert's focus of what Christmas is really about - the anticipation and joy of giving a thoughtful present to your loved ones'.