Press releases

John Lewis Christmas barometer

Tuesday 23 December 2014

  
This week's big story: Record fashion and home sales weeks

Both our Fashion and Home directorates had record sales weeks and this was reflected in their year-on-year increases of +2.5% and +0.6% respectively.The Fashion directorate's record sales week reflected the last minute gifting trend with premium beauty +5% year-on-year alongside strong sales of beauty gift sets +7% year-on-year.

Weekly trading update

With the final few shopping days before Christmas still to come, last week John Lewis achieved sales of £160.6m +6.5% week on week, confirming our expectation that customers are choosing to leave their Christmas shopping right up until the last minute. The year on year comparison at -2.4% reflects the changing shape of Christmas trade with an early peak at the end of November. Online sales had a steady performance at +5.5% year-on-year.

Both our Fashion and Home directorates had record sales weeks and this was reflected in their year-on-year increases of +2.5% and +0.6% respectively. Electricals and Home Technology was -10.8%, a sign of the growing significance of Black Friday on the shape of pre-Christmas trade. Small electrical was up 7% year-on-year with GHD and Nespresso having record weeks growing +44% and +13% year-on-year respectively.

The weekend saw customers' focus firmly shift to our shops, with branches up and down the country packed with Christmas shoppers and standout year-on-year performances from Chichester +10.6%, Chester +7.6% and Swindon +4.8%. We are giving customers an extra day to order Click & Collect items to any John Lewis shop, by extending the cut off date for orders to Tuesday 23 December for collection in our shops on Christmas Eve. This week, Click & Collect orders were up 30.3% year on year.

The Fashion directorate's record sales week reflected the last minute gifting trend with premium beauty +5% year-on-year alongside strong sales of beauty gift sets +7% year-on-year. Menswear and sports also achieved record weeks with sports sales +13% including sports technology +90%. Further strong performances came from men's formalwear +9.2% joined by men's own brand +6.6%. Childrenswear also saw significant sales of +11% including nightwear +24% with onesies continuing their enduring popularity.

In Home, the record week reflected the strength of our own-brand range, which is selling well right up to Christmas, ahead of discounting when Clearance starts online on Christmas Eve. Impressive growth came right across our own brand home ranges including fitted furniture +11% and bed linen +6% year-on-year. Standout performances included our Aroma Home range of hot water bottles and hand warmers growing +26% year on year.

Andrew Murphy, Retail Director John Lewis, said: 'Last week we said it's all to play for and that is still absolutely the case as we have seen a building trend of customers leaving their gift purchases right up until the last minute. The record levels of trade in our fashion and home assortments are hard won in what has been a challenging market. However, busy though‎ our shops have been over the past week, it's only in these final pre-Christmas days that many customers are finally moving to complete their gift buying and other purchases. Consequently our Partners are standing ready for a very busy final trading day before the festive break.'

Our next trading update will be on Monday 5 January which will give an overall view of the five weeks over the Christmas period up until Saturday 27 December.

All figures quoted are total sales including VAT.

  • £160.6m sterling total
  • +6.5% week on week increase
  • -2.4% year on year decrease
  • +5.5% year on year increase johnlewis.com

Week on week increases are percentage increases in sales value.

What Britain's buying this week

(year on year % increase)

  • +90% Sports technology
  • +44% GHDs
  • +26% Aroma hot water bottles
  • +13% Nespresso
  • +9.2% Men's formalwear.

Notes to editors

John Lewis - John Lewis operates 43 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, ten John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. It is part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK's largest example of worker co-ownership where all 30,000 staff are Partners in the business. John Lewis, 'Multichannel Retailer of the Year 2014'¹ , 'Best Overall Retailer'² and 'Best Retailer 2014'³, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 280,000 products, and 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 values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

¹ Oracle Retail Week Awards 2014
² Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2014
³ Which? Awards 2014.


Enquiries

For further information please contact:

Email: johnlewis@brands2life.com
Telephone: 0207 592 1200