Autumn sunshine dents John Lewis sales

John Lewis: demand was hit by last week's unseasonably warm weather. Picture: PA

John Lewis: demand was hit by last week's unseasonably warm weather. Picture: PA

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John Lewis is hoping that the cold and rain will bring a revival in its sales after demand was hit by last week’s unseasonably warm weather.

The employee-owned retailer said the autumn sunshine saw coats and gloves remain on the shelves, although the launch of its Christmas homewares had proved popular.

Sales in the week to 28 September fell 3.7 per cent to £70 million, having grown 8.5 per cent the previous week, but the department store chain said it was “well placed for when the rain and cold arrives, as it inevitably will”.

Among the retailer’s three Scottish stores, Aberdeen was the only one to eke out an increase in takings last week, with sales edging up 0.3 per cent, and was one of only four branches across the UK to see a year-on-year rise. Sales at its Edinburgh outlet dipped 1.2 per cent, while Glasgow suffered a 4.2 per cent slide.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said shoppers “may be taking a bit of a breather” ahead of the Christmas spending period.

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