Leading department store, John Lewis, reported that sales last week (to Saturday 3 December 2011) rose 9.6 per cent year on year to hit £113.6m. This represents a 15.1 per cent rise in sales on the previous week and shows that John Lewis customers are forging ahead with their Christmas shopping.
While the figures were flattered by the snow which caused disruption to trade this time last year, sales were up 10.9 per cent on the same week two years ago, indicating a robust underlying trading performance.
Fashion trade was particularly brisk last week as the colder weather drove sales of coat, gloves and scarves as well as men's and women's cashmere, slippers and dressing gowns.
As customers continue to ready their houses for Christmas festivities, sales of furnishings, chairs and tableware continued their strong performance. Kitchen gadgets - such as Nespresso coffee machines - and sales in china and glass saw significant uplifts showing that dressing the Christmas table is a key focus for shoppers with just a couple of weeks to go before the entertaining season gets into full swing.
Commenting on trade this week, Nat Wakely, Director Selling Operations John Lewis, said: 'We are very pleased to have recorded such a strong uplift in sales this week particularly compared with two years ago when the figures were not skewed by heavy snowfall.
'It is not surprising that fashion has begun to take off as the weather becomes more truly seasonal, and there is clear evidence that 'home really is where the heart is' as John Lewis customers are continuing to invest in making improvements to their houses in preparation for visits from friends and family.
'Our commitment to being Never Knowingly Undersold means that we continue to match the promotional activity of our competitors, ensuring that customers can be certain that they will be offered the best combination of price, quality and service at John Lewis.
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