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Published on January 11th, 2018 | by The GC Team


Seasonal lift for John Lewis

John Lewis today said it “significantly outperformed the market again this year” as it released its trading statement for the six weeks ended 30th December.

Gross sales of £1,034m were up 3.6% on last year and 3.1% on a like-for-like basis, outperforming the market by 4.5%, the retailer said.

Black Friday was the most successful sales day in the firm’s history and contributed to its biggest week of sales, up 7.2% year on year.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “John Lewis significantly outperformed the market again this year, building on last year’s strong peak trading performance despite the challenging, highly promotional trading environment. 

“Across the three product areas there was a particularly good performance in Fashion up 4.9%, and EHT up 5.0% while Home was down 0.3% as customers were more cautious about bigger purchases for their homes.

“Our continued participation in Black Friday underpinned our commitment to price matching through our Never Knowingly Undersold policy. The Black Friday week was the busiest in our history and included a record hour for online trade.”

Mayfield added that the pressure on margin seen in the first half of the year intensified due to maintaining competitive prices. Full-year financial results will be negatively affected.

“Looking ahead to 2018/19 we expect trading to be volatile due to the economic environment and anticipate that competitive intensity will continue, driven by the structural changes taking place in the retail industry.”

John Lewis is one of the many big retailers currently reporting seasonal updates. Commenting on what has been a mixed bag of results, Hugh Fletcher, Global Head of Consultancy and Innovation at ecommerce consultancy Salmon, said: “The Christmas sales figures from retailers this week paints a varied picture of their success, with mixed sales performance across the industry. The retailers who have spent time investing and learning about omni-channel strategies are those that are starting to pull away from the less digitally literate ones…

“Retailers should look to those who have had strong online sales as examples, investing time in their online channels both front- and back-end to create a more engaging and seamless experience for customers. We are already seeing some retailers begin to think about what is next for retail and establish partnerships with voice-controlled devices so as to roll out new services such as voice ordering.

“It will be these forward-thinking retailers who are ready to provide customers with the services that they desire, and will see success this year as online channels become an even more prominent player in the retail landscape.”

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