Tough diamond jubilee figures hurt John Lewis

Picture: Jon Savage

Picture: Jon Savage

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SALES at John Lewis fell last week as the department store chain came up against tough comparisons with the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations last year.

Turnover sagged by 5.2 per cent year-on-year in the week to 8 June after a 13.8 per cent rise in online sales wasn’t enough to cancel out the woes of the chain’s high street stores.

Scotland’s branches joined in the misery, with Glasgow’s sales down 8.5 per cent, Edinburgh 7.4 per cent lower and Aberdeen off by 0.6 per cent.

Bad weather and two extra bank holidays for the Queen’s anniversary celebrations had swelled takings a year earlier.

Peter Ruis, buying and brand director, said: “A difficult week to read, with our first proper week of summer weather trading against last year’s very wet and cold extended jubilee bank holiday and half term.

“The impact of all these seasonal variations was particularly felt in our shops.

“However, it is worth noting we’re up 12 per cent on two years ago, when the fall of the calendar was more similar.”

Nick Bubb, an independent retail analyst, noted: “The first sunny spell of the summer hit footfall quite badly. The autumnal weather we’ve had this week will be much more to John Lewis’s liking.”

IHS Global Insight chief UK economist Howard Archer added: “The latest John Lewis sales figures fuel uncertainty about how consumer spending will fare over the coming months.”

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