John Lewis sees sales rise 9.3% despite Scottish declines

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Department store group John Lewis has reported a 9.3 per cent increase in weekly sales, although all three of its Scottish branches suffered a decline in business.

The employee-owned retailer said sales for the week to 1 December totalled £124 million – its third-highest weekly result – as demand from online shoppers “stole the show”.

Sean O’Connor, head of online delivery, said: “ saw its best ever week, achieving record sales which closed with a significant 38 per cent increase on last year.”

The firm’s “Click & Collect” service represented more than a third of all online orders, up 85 per cent on a year ago, which it said helped to drive footfall into its department stores and Waitrose supermarkets.

However, the picture was not as bright across the chain’s Scottish stores, with sales at its Aberdeen store down 4.6 per cent. Edinburgh and Glasgow fared slightly better, with declines of 0.8 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively.

Freddie George, retail analyst at Seymour Pierce, said: “Following a strong couple of weeks at the beginning of November, the last three weeks of trading up to last weekend were disappointing.

“There is, we believe, less discounting on the high street compared with last year, and promotions have been more targeted.”