Department store chain John Lewis hailed “e milder weather, new ranges and sporting activity” for a 22.4 per cent year-on-year boost to its sales in the week to 4 August.
The employee-owned company, which also owns the Waitrose supermarket chain, said sales of electronic goods had risen by a third thanks to customers buying bigger television sets to watch the Olympics.
Tim Harrison, head of commercial format and implementation, said: “A remarkable week of success in the 2012 Games matched our flying start to the new half year. Compared to a year ago, the milder weather, new ranges and sporting activity have all driven demand.
“Undoubtedly, the feel-good factor of Team GB’s medal success has had a direct impact in uplifting sales, not only in our London shops but also in our branches throughout the country - certainly a great way to start the new half year.”
Freddie George, an analyst at Seymour Pierce, said: “In the first week of the Olympics it was an outstanding week for the department stores. We believe that, although there was a general improvement in trade over the week, the uplift seen by John Lewis was not representative of the sector, possibly because of the company’s London bias.
“Department stores were helped by the Olympics’ ‘feel good’ factor, which boosted demand for London 2012 merchandise, the influx of tourists and the better weather."
Commenting more broadly on the London games' effect on retailing, George added: "The Olympics, which appear to have been a major national success, are now almost over. After two subdued weeks of trading, sales in both food and non-food retailing have been better than expected during the Olympics helped by Team GB’s growing medal tally.
"The major beneficiaries appear to have been the food retailers, the sports retailers – Sports Direct and JD Sports – who are up against easy comparative in the current week with the riots last year and Halfords. We suspect that the ‘feel good’ factor will, however, be short lived and consumers will return to reality over the next month."
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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