John Lewis weekly sales rise despite heavy snow

| December 19, 2010 | 0 Comments

The John Lewis Partnership, which is regarded as a barometer of British retailing, today revealed sales rose in the week to 18 December.

The renowned employee-owned department store said sales grew 7% to £120.3 million, compared with the same period a year ago.

However, this was down on the previous week’s record of £121 million. John Lewis said sales on Saturday were hit by the blizzards which affected parts of the UK and forced it to close two of its 32 stores.

Meanwhile, sales at its Waitrose supermarket chain rose 7% to £131 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 Christmas shopping food.

Waitrose MD, Mark Price, told Reuters: “From Monday onwards customers took the weather forecast seriously and brought forward their shopping to earlier in the week.”

This weekend should have been the busiest of the year but the big freeze is expected to have had a negative impact on retailers as consumers struggle to get to the shops.

The heavy snowfall earlier this month hit retail sales as consumers opted to stay at home and do their shopping online with internet sales surging ahead.

However, the recent bad weather has meant major companies including Amazon and Marks & Spencer, have been forced to stop taking orders as they struggle to keep up with a backlog of deliveries.

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