This week saw sales at John Lewis of £108.8m, breaking the £100m barrier for the first time this year and matching the retailer's 2013 record for the earliest week to have reached this milestone. Lighting had its best-ever sales week, and was up 10.4 % year on year. Sales were up 7.2% on last year and up 13.7% week on week. Online sales were up 15% year on year.
John Lewis puts the bulk of this down to customers giving their homes a pre-Christmas makeover to be 'guest-ready' for the festive season, with sales of furniture and home entertaining a driving force.
Home showed the strongest signs of this trend with sales, up 9.0% year on year. Lighting had its best ever sales week and was up 10.4% year on year. Within Home, guest beds and bedlinen were particularly strong performers, up 50% and 11% year on year respectively.
The retailer's Countdown to Christmas event drove footfall to branches, with good performances from the home shops including Newbury (+21.4%), Chichester (+20.3%), Poole (19.6%), and Tunbridge Wells (+13.5%), along with two of the more recent store openings, Exeter (+19.0%) and Stratford (+12.5.%).
There was also praise for the retailer's omnichannel offering, as the shops and supply chain both received accolades this week, named Retail and Etail Fulfilment Operation of the Year at the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards alongside John Lewis York being named Best Department Store of the Year at the Retail Week Interiors Awards.
Simon Russell, director, retail operations development at John Lewis, says: "We're delighted to have broken the £100m sales barrier this week, matching our previous record for the earliest week to achieve this level of sales. Alongside this our lighting department achieved its best-ever sales week +10.4% year on year, with designer brands performing particularly well. This is particularly pleasing, reinforcing John Lewis as the destination for both design-led and practical home interiors. Planning for additional guests over the festive period appears well under way this week with customers giving their homes pre-Christmas makeovers with impressive results from guest beds and kitchen appliances.
"Sales were also helped by customers coming into shops for our Countdown to Christmas weekend. Our Never Knowingly Undersold promise also came into force as we matched a competitor's promotion."