Press releases

Christmas barometer

Sunday 15 December 2013

Weekly trading update

This week saw sales of £149.9m, up 1.4 per cent on last year and 12.6 per cent on two years ago. An increase of 3.7 per cent compared with last week reflects the building momentum as we approach our peak trading week where we expect further acceleration in Christmas sales, continuing the trend for concentrated Christmas shopping up to the very last minute across both shops and online.

The stand-out result of the week was from our home department which achieved a record week as customers put the final touches to their homes in advance of the festive season. In cooking and dining, sales of roasting tins and carving trays were the order of the day whilst home accessories and gifts were boosted by 5.1 per cent as crackers, gift wrap and tags flew off the shelves. The best-performing department however was furniture, with sales up 21 per cent on last year. Many shoppers also took advantage of our made-to-order seven-day curtain service, which will take final pre-Christmas orders tomorrow, 16 December.

In fashion, womenswear, childrenswear and beauty in particular drove a strong performance.

This week customers benefited from the new technological developments we have introduced to make shopping easier, from Google Street View to transactional tablets and mobile charging stations.

As our TV ad passes 10 million views on YouTube, the book that also tells the story of the bear and the hare is our most popular children's title. Elsewhere our own-brand toys and Lego gifts have seen another stellar week.

Andrew Murphy, retail director, John Lewis, said: 'We intend to keep investing and innovating this Christmas so that our shops remain compelling and hassle-free places for customers, offering multiple reasons to visit them. Partly this will see us use an increasing amount of technology to make shopping easier and offer more 'in shop help'. But this is also going to be about offering inspiring experiences, and in that vein, we are delighted to report that our recently-launched partnership with Scandinavian café brand, Joe & the Juice, has got off to a fantastic start, with sales almost 20 per cent ahead of expectations for the first 10 days.

'This week we have launched three further developments to ensure that we remain the most helpful retailer in the UK for customers. John Lewis Oxford Street is the first department store in the world to be fully mapped by Google Street View, allowing customers to navigate our flagship shop by taking a virtual walk through the aisles. The second initiative sees our Cheadle, Brent Cross and Peter Jones shops introduce in store transactional tablets - enabling customers to make stock queries and skip queues at the til by making their purchases directly with the Partner who advised them. Peter Jones is also involved in the final development along with our Watford shop where we are trialling Chargebox, a free to use mobile phone charging station which allows you to shop for longer without fear of falling out of touch with friends, family or the web!'

  • +1.4 per cent year on year increase
  • +3.7% week on week increase
  • £149.9m sterling total
  • 13.2 per cent year on year increase -


What Britain's buying

High climbers:

  • John Lewis stag head cushion
  • John Lewis diecut gift tags
  • Bodum Assam teapot
  • Happy socks
  • Edinburgh Preserves farmhouse hamper

Best selling gift this week

Apple iPad Mini

Hot sellers this week

  • Logo What Am I? game
  • Molton Brown jetsetter gift set
  • John Lewis Spectrum DAB radio

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership - The John Lewis Partnership operates 40 John Lewis shops across the UK (30 department stores and ten John Lewis at home),, 302 Waitrose shops, and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £9.5bn. It is the UK's largest example of worker co-ownership where all 85,500 staff are Partners in the business.

John Lewis - John Lewis, 'Retailer of the Year 2013'¹ , 'The Nation's Best Retailer'² and 'Best Retailer 2013'³, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores.  The website stocks over 250,000 products focused on the best of fashion, beauty, home and giftware and electrical items including online exclusives. is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. (  John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products - home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover - delivering the usual values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

¹ Oracle Retail Week Awards 2013
² Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2013
³ Which? Awards 2013


For further information, please contact:

Siân Grieve
Senior Press Officer (Corporate)
Telephone:  020 7592 6887
Mobile: 07525 271812

Louise Cooper
Senior Manager, Corporate, Digital & Branch PR
Telephone: 020 7592 6223
Mobile: 07808 574117