John Lewis feels the heat as sales drop again

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Department store group John Lewis has suffered another drop in weekly sales as the soaring temperatures tempted shoppers away from the high street.

The employee-owned retailer said takings during the week to 20 July were 1.2 per cent lower than a year earlier, although the decline was not as dramatic as the previous week’s 8.7 per cent slide.

With the mercury rising, John Lewis said sales of fans and other cooling products powered ahead, along with juicers and cameras, while shoppers also clamoured for outdoor furniture.

Among the group’s three Scottish stores, Glasgow experienced the sharpest drop in sales, down 10.1 per cent compared with last year. Takings at Edinburgh dropped 6.4 per cent, while Aberdeen was 3.6 per cent lower.

Managing director Andy Street said: “Taking the four weeks of July together, trade has certainly been challenging.

“But the indications are that the heatwave is nearing a conclusion. Therefore this, the last week of the half, does give us the opportunity to make up some lost ground.”