John Lewis sees slowdown in weekly sales

| January 21, 2011
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The John Lewis Partnership, which is regarded as a barometer of British retailing, has revealed sales slowed in the week to 15 January – attributed to the VAT hike from 17.5% to 20%.

In the previous week, the renowned employee-owned department store said the bank holiday, on Monday 3 January, saw shoppers buy furniture and electrical goods as they looked to beat the VAT rise and department store sales soared 38.7% a�� the biggest rise in the groupa��s fiscal year which ends this month.

However, last week, sales rose 4.1% to A?55.8 million as households look to rein in their spending as food and fuel prices rise and the Governmenta��s spending cuts take effect.

Commenting on the figures, Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, explains: “The reduced year-on-year gains in John Lewis sales fuels suspicion that consumers will be very careful in their spending over the coming months in the face of serious pressure.”

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