Christmas advert fails to lift sales at John Lewis

'Unprecedented' demand for telescopes failed to lift sales at John Lewis last week. Picture: John Lewis/PA Wire
'Unprecedented' demand for telescopes failed to lift sales at John Lewis last week. Picture: John Lewis/PA Wire
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Department store chain John Lewis said sales fell last week, despite the launch of its latest high-profile Christmas advertising campaign.

The employee-owned retailer said overall takings in the week to 7 November were down 0.4 per cent compared with the same period last year, and all three of its Scottish stores were in negative territory.

Its Aberdeen branch suffered the worst performance north of the Border, with sales tumbling 17.7 per cent year-on-year.

In Glasgow, takings fell 6.2 per cent, while the firm’s Edinburgh store saw sales dip 3.4 per cent.

John Lewis said milder temperatures hit demand for its fashion wares, but it witnessed “unprecedented” demand for telescopes, as featured in its Christmas advert.

Johnathan Marsh, buying director for electricals and home technology, said: “With our ‘Man on The Moon’ Christmas advert successfully launched, branches fully decorated and stocked up with Christmas gifting and our best products ready to sell, we are well set to build momentum in the weeks ahead.”

Waitrose, the upmarket grocer also owned by the John Lewis Partnership, fared better last week, with sales excluding petrol rising 5.4 per cent on a year earlier.