John Lewis Sales soar for Second Week Running

Posted on 27 November, 2013 by Kirsten Kennedy

John Lewis has, in recent years, become the undisputed champion in the Christmas retailing stakes, with its Christmas television advert and in-store decorations increasing its customer base exponentially at this time of year. Now, it appears that the department store chain is well on target to top even last year’s bumper Christmas sales results.

This week, the retailer announced that its weekly total sales figures have topped £100 million for the second week in a row. Furthermore, year on year, total sales increased by 2.1 per cent to £111.9 million despite the fact that Black Friday falls into a different week this year – indicating long term strength throughout the early Christmas trading period.

Obviously, festive-related items played a huge part in this latest sales boom, with sales for Christmas gifts and household decorations rocketing by 10.3 per cent on a week on week basis. However, the chilly weather has also had a positive effect on sales, with outerwear including hats, scarves and gloves all in high demand with consumers.

John Lewis’ Maggie Porteous, voiced her pleasure at the strong performance across the board.

 “It has been pleasing to see sales surpassing the £100 million mark for the second time this month with strong figures coming from both our shops and online.

“We have been up against tough comparisons this week with Black Friday falling into a different week this year – but looking at the two year figure of +13.3 per cent, sales are encouraging,” she said.

Although sales increased 9.4 per cent year on year, it seems that the retailer has managed to buck the trend of reliance upon online operations in order to increase profits. Store performance remains incredibly buoyant, unlike rival department store chains such as Debenhams, which has seen falling footfall in store as customers turn to home delivery options instead.

The question, really, is how John Lewis has remained such a huge success on the high street when other retailers have experienced challenges in attracting customers. Recently, the retailer received the accolade of “Retailer of the Year” with a large number of voters praising the chain’s dedication to customer service and quality products.

Perhaps, then, consumers are drawn to their local John Lewis store as they believe the quality of service received will prove to be better than the experience on offer online. Alternatively, it could be that the level of trust established between John Lewis and its customer base has inspired feelings of loyalty which are reinforced by visits to the department store chain’s commercial properties rather than its website.

Whatever the reason, John Lewis certainly seems set to retain its place at the top of the (Christmas) tree for this year. And with the release of the eagerly anticipated PS4 games console occurring this Friday, it could well be that the retailer will break through the £100 million benchmark for the third consecutive week.

Why do you think John Lewis proves to be so popular with consumers at Christmas – is it the customer service on offer, the much lauded dedication to quality or another reason entirely?

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