John Lewis hit by week delay of Black Friday

CHRISTMAS sales at John Lewis slowed last week, as tough comparatives from a year ago prevented a repeat of last week’s stellar growth.

The department store group reported sales of £111.9m in the week to 23 November, up 2.1 per cent on the same week last year, as the cold weather drove sales of coats and other wooly accessories. But this was a marked slowdown on the 10.7 per cent growth enjoyed the previous week, compared with a year ago.

Maggie Porteous, director of selling operations, said comparatives with last year were tough because of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when Americans traditionally kick off their festive shopping, which falls a week later this year.

“We have been up against tough comparisons... but looking at the two year figure of 13.3 per cent [growth], sales are encouraging,” she said.

The department store group also said Microsoft’s new Xbox One Console sold out within two hours of being launched online on Friday, helping to drive the retailer’s sales above £100m for the second week in a row. 

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