John Lewis reports further slowdown in weekly sales
The slowdown in consumer spending looks set to continue after the John Lewis Partnership, which is regarded as a barometer of British retailing, reported a further fall in weekly sales.
The renowned employee-owned chain said department store sales fell 0.9% o £49.5 million in the week to 29 January.
In the week to 22 January, the department store chain also reported a fall in sales – suggesting the tightening of purse strings looks set to stay as consumers are faced with tax hikes and spending cuts.
The company said electricals and home technology sales were down 5.1%, while sales of home-related products rose 0.3%.
Andrew Murphy, the department store’s retail director, said 2010 was a “tough year for UK retail as whole“ but “the year ahead promises to be even more testing, but we are budgeting for growth.”
Meanwhile, sales at its Waitrose supermarket chain also slowed to £95.6 million in the week to 29 January.
However, the luxury chain is still one of the UK’s fastest growing supermarkets and is in the midst of a major expansion programme.