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John Lewis reports record-breaking Christmas week sales

Ben Chapman
Fashion sales rose 8.8 per cent, with electricals 11.3 per cent higher and homeware up 7 per cent

John Lewis revealed record-breaking sales during the week running up to Christmas. The department store group, which includes Waitrose supermarkets, saw sales jump 4 per cent in the week to 23 December compared to the same period a year earlier.

Stripping out Waitrose, sales jumped 8.9 per cent with strong performances in each of the company’s three major product categories.

Fashion sales rose 8.8 per cent, with electricals 11.3 per cent higher and homeware up 7 per cent.

The week marked John Lewis’ biggest ever week for fashion sales, with own-brand womenswear performing particularly well, the company said on Wednesday. Waitrose sales edged up by 0.5 per cent.

The latest figures mark a comeback for the employee-owned group from a particularly weak Christmas period two years ago.

Other high street chains including Poundland and Next also reported cheerful festive news on Wednesday, despite fears that consumer spending may suffer in the face of rising inflation and falling real wages.

Poundland announced its most successful Christmas ever with sales up 5.6 per cent in the 12 weeks to Christmas Eve. The budget retailer said it sold over 5 million rolls of wrapping paper, 1 million pieces of tinsel, 26 million Christmas cards and 28 million baubles in the period.

The company’s “Twin Peaks” chocolate bar which sparked a legal battle with Toblerone maker, Mondelez, became a record seller. Poundland shifted all 500,000 of the bars in the weeks running up to Christmas.

Next said on Wednesday that its full-price sales rose by 1.5 per cent in the 54 days from 1 November to 24 December, compared to the same period a year earlier.

Retail sales fell by 6.1 per cent but that was easily offset by a 13.6 per cent surge in online sales.