John Lewis sees sales dip

Department store group and traditional retail bellwether John Lewis said its sales had dipped slightly last week compared with the same week a year ago, as mild autumnal weather and a difficult economic backdrop deterred shoppers. The employee-owned business said yesterday that sales in the week to 12 November were £76m, up six per cent from last week but down 0.8 per cent from a year ago, on strong comparatives. “With very strong figures from last year against us, milder weather than is seasonal and the turbulent economic climate, our results show that our customers are beginning to think seriously about Christmas,” said retail director Andrew Murphy. In the week to 5 November John Lewis reported a rise of 4.4 per cent in department store sales.