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John Lewis posts surge in holiday sales driven by online shopping

RBR Staff Writer Published 05 January 2015

John Lewis reported 4.8% increase in like-for-like sales to £777m in the five weeks to 27 December as online purchases turned out to be the primary growth driver for the retailer.

john lewis

Revenue at John Lewis rose to £777m in the five weeks through 27 December, a growth of 4.8% as compared to the 2013 period at stores open at least a year.

Its Internet-based sales jumped 19%, fuelled by a fourfold surge in website visitors in the early hours of Black Friday on 28 November, while store revenue in the five weeks was level with the prior year.

In fact, the retailer posted its biggest sales week in 150 years of its history on Black Friday.

Online revenues at the retailer surged to about 36% of total sales, up from 32% a year earlier, out of which, 56% opted for click-and-collect services.

In a statement, the retailer said: "The standout feature driving a new shape of trade was our success on Black Friday.

"This yielded an early sales peak and impacted the shape of trade."

Electrical and home technology products were hot ticket items on Black Friday, while homeware growth was 2.3% up on last year for the five-week period.

Fashion and beauty increased by 7.8% on last year, driven by online sales.

As reported in BBC, John Lewis is set to increase its store count from 42 to 65, with a focus on locations such as Birmingham, Leeds and Oxford.

Despite of the key role played by online sales, the retailer is keen on expanding its physical shop presence.

Overall department stores in the UK reported surge in sales by 5.8% over the Christmas period as Britons shopped more online and utilised bargain promotions during Black Friday in late November.

Image: John Lewis department store in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Photo courtsey of Wikipedia via Mankind 2k.