John Lewis enjoys bumper online sales ahead of Xmas

Kasmira Jefford
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JOHN LEWIS said online sales jumped by almost a third last week compared with the same time last year, as consumers turned to their computers and mobile devices to make their Christmas purchases.

The department store group reported a 31 per cent year-on-year rise in online sales in the week to Saturday 17 November.

John Lewis’ bumper internet sales follows figures from industry body IMRG and Capgemini last week that consumers will spend £4.6bn online in the first two weeks of December, up from £3.7bn last year.

Total sales including stores increased by 7.6 per cent on the same week last year to £91.7m, driven by strong demand for the latest gadgets, particularly tablets.

John Lewis said sales at its electrical and home technology (EHT) category rose 22 per cent compared with last year.

Other popular products snapped up last week included cufflinks, knitwear and outerwear for men while luxury watches and handbags were also top sellers within womenswear

Scooters, kids’ technology products and the Furby – the fuzzy haired speaking toy first launched in 1998 – also proved favourite buys for parents last week.

Andy Street, managing director, said: “After another successful week’s step up to Christmas, our online and electrical home technology sales make it clear there is real trust in John Lewis as we approach this critical period.

But Howard Archer, economist at IHS Global Insight cautioned trading last week was “well below” the overall year-on-year increase of 13.0 per cent in the 15 weeks trading to 10 November. He said: “Given that John Lewis has been very much an outperformer in the retail sector... the fact that it is currently seeing relatively limited underlying sales growth as Christmas shopping really gets underway highlights the difficult outlook that retailers generally face over the crucial festive period.”