John Lewis in sales surge as Xmas nears

JOHN Lewis said sales had risen by 11.3 per cent over the last four days – driven by a strong performance from fashion and helped by the colder weather.

The department store said the week had begun well as consumers started thinking about buying Christmas gifts.

Lesley Ballantyne, John Lewis director of operational development said: “This week is shaping up to be a really strong week, by last night we were 11.3 per cent up on last year.

“All areas are very positive but fashion particularly stands out, where customers are taking advantage of our beautiful winter ranges in women’s cashmere.”

Sales of fleece robes jumped 118 per cent during the four days compared to last year, while sales of slippers rose 15 per cent, and Ugg earmuffs 112 per cent. Watch sales were up 25 per cent. The retailer is considered a bellwether for the consumer climate on the high street and issues regular trading updates in the run-up to Christmas.