John Lewis posts record sales

John Lewis has continued to buck the trend among retailers by posting a record 38.7% increase in sales last week as shoppers rushed to buy electrical goods before the increase in VAT.

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The retail group says that the increase for the week to 8 January, the biggest recorded in its current financial year, was helped further by an additional bank holiday (3 January) and favourable comparisons to the same period last year, when snow and ice hit trade.

Online sales at Johnlewis.com increased 42%, the retailer says, lifted by strong sales of white goods and home furnishing products.

John Lewis continues to outperform the retail sector. Groups including Dixons, Halfords, Next and HMV have reported disappointing sales over the Christmas period, blaming snow and the uncertain economic environment for flagging sales.

Retail analysts believe John Lewis is well positioned to cope with the VAT increase and public sector job cuts because of its premium offering. The department store group reports year end results later this month.

The group has marketed heavily recently, using Twitter to drive its Never Knowingly Undersold commitment and running a Christmas advertising campaign featuring a cover of Elton John’s “Your Song” sung by Ellie Goulding.

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