The Aberdeen outpost of the John Lewis department store empire has racked up another week of double-digit falls in sales as the Granite City struggles with the downturn in the North Sea industry.
The store – one of three that the partnership runs in Scotland – suffered a 20.9 per cent slide in takings in the week ended 26 September, compared with a year earlier. It was by far the worst outcome among the 40-odd sites John Lewis operates.
Across the first eight weeks of the group’s financial year, sales at the Aberdeen branch are down by 16 per cent, year-on-year.
The sales slowdown comes as a recent raft of reports have highlighted the woes afflicting the city’s hotels market, with big falls in occupancy rates and revenues, as activity connected with the oil and gas sector cools.
Yesterday’s John Lewis numbers revealed that overall takings across the chain grew by 6.9 per cent, year-on-year, to just below £86 million.
Ed Connolly, buying director, fashion and beauty, said: “With Christmas shop opening in all branches this week, and as momentum behind our gifting assortments continues, we have an optimistic outlook for October.”
Howard Archer, chief UK eonomist at IHS Global Insight, described the rise as “healthy” following gains of 6 per cent and 5 per cent in the previous two weeks.
At the Waitrose supermarket business there was a 2.1 per cent year-on-year rise in sales.