Shoppers continue to buy online

Black Friday hits Xmas sales at John Lewis

John LewisDepartment store group John Lewis said the popularity of Black Friday in November meant sales fell back in the final shopping week before Christmas.

Year-on-year sales slipped 1.4 percent in the week to 27 December although there was a strong start to the sales and online business.

Some stores suffered double digit falls in sales with Sheffield down 16.7% and Swindon 16.6%. All the Scottish stores were down: Aberdeen by 6.3%, Glasgow by 3.3% and Edinburgh by 2.1%.

The employee-owned firm said shoppers spent £126.24 million with the group with online orders on Christmas Day up 19%, confirming a growing trend.

Mark Lewis online director, said: “Click & collect service broke records. We had billed 2014 as the Click & collect Christmas and it certainly came to pass.”

Fashion items were up 8.1% while electricals, such as televisions and tablets, fell 14.7%.

However, the company said that because of the change in the calendar year-on-year the Christmas week only included one full-day of its in-store clearance sale.

The previous week showed a 2.4% fall in sales as more shoppers appeared to have bought big ticket items such as televisions on Black Friday.

Its supermarket chain Waitrose enjoyed a strong end to the year as sales of sparkling wines, whisky and turkey crowns helped it outperform its bigger rivals, with sales up 6.5% in the two weeks to 27 December.

Fashion retailer Next posted a 2.9% rise in sales in the run up to Christmas.

Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s will release their trading figures next week. Dave Lewis, chief executive of Tesco will also unveil details of his “masterplan” to fight back against the discounters.


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