Edinburgh festivals boost trading at John Lewis

The Edinburgh Festival is in full swing. Picture: Jane BarlowThe Edinburgh Festival is in full swing. Picture: Jane Barlow
The Edinburgh Festival is in full swing. Picture: Jane Barlow
John Lewis’s Edinburgh store was among the group’s best performing branches last week as longer festival opening hours helped boost takings.

Figures showed that overall sales at the employee-owned chain rose 7.6 per cent to £65.8 million, overcoming a strong comparative with 2012 when trade was boosted by demand for Jubilee and Olympics merchandise.

Sales at the Edinburgh outlet jumped by 8.6 per cent, year-on-year, ahead of both Glasgow and Aberdeen – the other two branches located north of the Border – which rose 5.6 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.

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Barry Matheson, director of retail services, said: “There was a fairly wide spread of performance in the north. Edinburgh led the way and is benefiting from extended trading hours through the festival period.

“We enter the final week of August in good form, and the bank holiday weekend gives us numerous opportunities to

capture trade.”

The group highlighted strong performances in women’s accessories and beauty, but said sales of homewares struggled, particularly major furnishings.

However, a “back to university” furnishing accessories promotion did well, as did lighting and electrical goods. Online sales rose by 19.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, sister business Waitrose reported a surge in beer sales this month as the end of the summer heatwave failed to dry up Britons’ thirst for a pint.

Shopper appetite for ale and lager continued unabated despite the lower temperatures, more than doubling sales across a number of brands.

Sales figures from the supermarket chain for the week ending 17 August showed overall revenues up 7 per cent, year-on-year, to £110.5m.