John Lewis sales soar more than 20%

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Department store group John Lewis has reported a 20.6 per cent jump in sales, boosted by strong demand from internet shoppers and a lack of snow compared with last year.

The employee-owned retailer said sales for the week to 2 February rose to £63.2 million, from £52.5m for the same week a year ago, when heavy snow disrupted sales in many part of the country.

Sales over the firm’s website soared 48.5 per cent, while its three Scottish stores also enjoyed healthy increases. Edinburgh was its best-performing branch north of the Border, with sales up 17 per cent on last year. Aberdeen gained 14.1 per cent, while sales at Glasgow rose 11.9 per cent.

Freddie George, retail analyst at Seymour Pierce, said: “So far in 2013, the underlying sales trend – especially with relatively easy like-for-like comparatives in February and this year’s early Easter – has been stronger than we might have expected pre-Christmas.

“It is too early, however, to call the ‘green shoots’ of recovery.”