John Lewis Christmas barometer

Tuesday 2 December 2014

This week's big story: Black Friday

Black Friday helped deliver the biggest ever week for sales in John Lewis's 150 year trading history.  Overall sales were up 21.8% on last year with online sales recording a 42.2% year on year growth. Several shops achieved record takings on Black Friday itself, including Oxford Street, York, Southampton, Liverpool, Ipswich and Tamworth.

John Lewis delivers operational success in week for record sales

In a week which saw trade fuelled by Black Friday and our price matching of competitor events, John Lewis delivered sales of £179.1m, up 21.8% on last year and up 56.8% week on week to deliver the biggest ever week for sales in its 150 year trading history. This surpassed the previous sales record of £164.4m which was set during the week before Christmas last year. 

We hit a record week for online sales, up 42.2% year on year. On Black Friday itself several of our shops achieved record  takings for the day, including Oxford Street, York, Southampton, Liverpool, Ipswich and Tamworth. 

Black Friday started at the stroke of midnight as customers logged on early to browse resulting in a 300% increase of traffic during the early hours of trading. Continuing the trend for mobile shopping, approximately 70% of our traffic came from smartphones and tablets between midnight and 8am. For the first time ever all our shops opened early at 8am and at the same time as our shops opened, online sales also peaked with almost 13,000 orders placed on between 8am and 9am. In our distribution centres across the country on Friday, teams picked and packed +54% more online parcels compared to last year's Black Friday event with this uplift increasing to +87% on Saturday as customer orders from Friday were processed. 

Electricals led the way with record breaking weekly sales, up +40.9% year on year, driven largely by the hundreds of Black Friday offers available. There were significant increases across all categories on the Friday including Tablets and Computers (+127% year on year), Vision (+131% year on year) and Small Electricals (+66% year on year).

Fashion also performed well for the week closing at +16.7% year on year and on Black Friday the directorate posted its biggest ever sales for a single day's trade. Menswear and Sport was the standout category, up 16.6% for the week compared to last year, with Barbour, Ted Baker and Polo Ralph Lauren all notching up record sales. In accessories, Handbags had a record week with sales +37% year on year, whilst brands which were included in our price matching were popular, including Mulberry and Michael Kors. 

Our Home directorate also saw increased trade, closing the week +3.6% year on year. It was another record week for lighting, up 10.2% year on year whilst furniture sales also remained strong at +15.5% year on year. 

Dino Rocos, Operations Director, John Lewis said:  'There was clearly huge customer anticipation of Black Friday this year and we knew we had high expectations to meet, both in terms of the products we had on offer through our Never Knowingly Undersold commitment, and in ensuring that we fulfilled customer orders as promised. 

'While the sales figures are attention-grabbing, for me our biggest achievement was delivering an operation which ran like clockwork. We picked and packed 87% more online parcels on Saturday than we did last year, and to have delivered successfully on customer expectation is a testament to the work of our Partners both on Black Friday itself and in our forward-planning. Our website coped well with exceptional demand whilst the atmosphere in our shops remained both seasonal and calm with customers enjoying extended opening hours and the great offers to be had.'

All figures quoted are total sales including VAT

  • +21.8% year on year increase
  • +56.8% week on week increase
  • 179.1m sterling total
  • 42.2% year on year increase

What Britain bought on Black Friday

  • We sold one tablet every second throughout the day
  • One Samsung UE40H6400 TV was sold every minute
  • One De'Longhi Prima Donna S coffee machine sold every three and a half minutes
  • In Fashion,  footwear was + 41% and Handbags +33% year on year


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 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. 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.


For further information please contact:

Telephone: 0207 592 1200