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18th of October 2010
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October 15, 2010    

John Lewis weekly sales hit by London Underground strike

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by Kay Murchie

The John Lewis Partnership, which is regarded as a barometer of British retailing, today announced that sales growth slowed last week - hit by warmer weather and a strike on the London Underground.

The renowned employee-owned department store said sales at its 28 department stores and two “at home” stores grew 7.2% to £59.5 million pounds in the week to 9 October, compared with the same period a year ago.

This also compares with much stronger growth experienced in the previous three weeks of 13.9%, 15.1% and 11.7% respectively.

Commenting, brand director Peter Ruis, said: “The tube strike on Monday (October 4) in London, added to the relatively good weather compared to a year ago, contributed to lower footfall in our shops.”

Meanwhile, sales at its Waitrose supermarket chain rose 9.6% to £92.8 million in the week - cementing Waitrose’s current position as one of the UK’s fastest growing supermarket.

Sales at the chain were boosted by purchases of pizza and Italian ready-meals as consumers opted to stay in on Saturday night to watch “The X Factor” and “Strictly Come Dancing”, said Waitrose.

Earlier this week, Waitrose said despite the tough economic conditions, it expects annual sales to rise by a double-digit percentage for some years to come, fuelled by its ambitious expansion plan.

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