John Lewis sales rise

John Lewis, Britain’s biggest department store company, has reported a double-digit rise in weekly sales - a result of its summer sales, poor weather and the Olympics.

The employee-owned firm announced an increase in department store sales of 17.3 per cent year-on-year to a total of £70.3m in the week ending 14 July.

Dino Rocos, operations director said: “Clearance coupled with the continuation of the inclement weather, saw customers picking up bargains as a form of retail therapy”.

The increase was fuelled by a 37 per cent rise in sales, in electrical and home technology sectors, with the British stocking up on appliances and televisions.

Electrics as coffee machines, Kindles and iPads are said to have sold well, the company said.

John Lewis saw further success in its home category with an 8.9 per cent increase, while online sales rocketed up 51 per cent.

The Olympics had a substantial effect with fashion sales soaring 12.3 per cent, with the merchandise stimulating a 39 per cent leap in sportswear retail.

John Lewis has performed well over the summer compared to rivals.

In contrast as weak sales were reported from major retailers included Halfords, Mothercare Kingfisher and JJB Sports, revealing that the wettest April to June on record had dented the retail sector.

Despite the rise in John Lewis figures, the firm’s sales are assisted by the fact it has more shops than last year. Also, electrical items have relatively low profit margins.