Press releases

Christmas barometer

Sunday 22 December 2013

Weekly trading update - Last-minute shoppers drive record for John Lewis

This week saw a record week for John Lewis, with sales hitting £164.4m, breaking the £160m barrier for the first time ever and delivering a 4.2 per cent increase on last year and a 31.8 per cent two-year increase. continued its record-breaking run with an increase of 31.0 per cent, and up and down the country our shops have been full of shoppers as part of the last-minute rush, and we anticipate further busy days today and on Monday and Tuesday, as people complete their Christmas shopping.

We have seen a different shape to trade this year, with an early peak flattening out before the final week's surge, driving a week-on-week increase of 9.7 per cent.

All three of our directorates had record weeks, with growth spread across the business.

Proving that it is once again the must-have gift for Christmas, we have sold one iPad every ten seconds in the last week, leading to an increase of 5.6 per cent in our technology directorate on last year. The new range of iPad Air has been the most sought after gift and we expect that to continue over the next three days with customers attracted by our three year guarantee.

A 3.3 per cent year-on-year sales increase in our fashion directorate was driven by childrenswear in particular, with toys an obvious highlight. Beauty gift sets flew off the shelves and we also saw an increase in lingerie sets, perhaps reinforcing the stereotype that last-minute gift buying is driven by men.

In home, sales were 4.4 per cent up on the year, with people snapping up gifts to create a family Christmas, with board games Linkee, Bananagrams and jigsaw puzzles best-sellers. Gift food sales are strong with Limoncello, Panettone and Stollen favourites. We have also sold a staggering 2.3 million chocolate coins this Christmas, our best-selling gift food product of the year.

Paula Nickolds, buying and brand director at John Lewis, said: 'It's clear that much of Britain has yet again taken shopping for Christmas right up to the wire. Buoyed by this week's record trading, all of our channels are braced for the final three shopping days before Christmas.

'Final Click & Collect orders for pre-Christmas collection will be taken at 7pm on Monday - an extension of one day - before our online focus shifts to Clearance, which starts at 5pm on Christmas Eve on and in our shops from early in the morning on the 27 December. As ever, bargain hunters can benefit from our Never Knowingly Undersold price promise throughout the year.'

  • 4.2 per cent year on year increase
  • 9.7 per cent week on week increase
  • £164.4m sterling total
  • 31 per cent year on year increase


What Britain's buying

High climbers:

  • Junior scrabble
  • Woodland serving bowl
  • Liz Earle skincare set
  • Cocktail gift set
  • Godiva chocolate truffles

Best selling gift this week

Apple iPad Mini - Best seller for second week in a row.

Hot sellers this week

  • Chocolate coins
  • Waffle fleece woman's robe
  • Penhaligon's mini fragrance set.

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