Mar 20, 2018
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Spring delayed by snow at John Lewis but chill boosts cashmere sales

Mar 20, 2018

John Lewis Partnership must be hoping for a big sales uplift in the current week as it opens it 50th department store today at Westfield London. But for last week, it turned in a total company sales increase of only 2% to £206.18 million.

Spring's arrival was delayed on the fashion front at John Lewis but snow boosted cashmere sales

And the John Lewis chain itself rose only 1.4%, but at least that was better than the previous week’s snow-hit result.

But while snow had devastated sales across the country in the previous period, cold, snowy weather was still a factor in some regions this time. The seven days to March 17 felt he chill and the current seven-day period could too as snow proved to be a problem at the weekend.

So was there any good news? A little. While Fashion directory sales edged up only 1.8% and spring ranges clearly seem out of place, the company saw chilly weather boosting demand for its own-brand cashmere that rose an astonishing 38%. And a price-matching event also spurred beauty sales with an excellent rise of 18.1%. Coming at a time when there are no obvious beauty-focused ‘events’ (such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s day) ahead, that’s especially impressive.

But once again, the Home directory disappointed with a 5.4% sales drop, although gift food sales were up 27% as shoppers bought gift foods ahead of Easter at the end of this month.

Electricals and Home Technology sales were up 7.5% driven by strong sales in its own-brand audio products and also in mobile. It also had some strong new technology launches with the next-generation Dyson V10 cordless vacuum cleaner and the Samsung S9 smartphone going on sale.

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