Happy Easter: John Lewis hails 'remarkable' sales figures for holiday week

SALES across John Lewis department stores rose by 30 per cent during what the company described as a "remarkable" week's trading over the Easter holiday.

The turnover of 59 million for the week to 3 April was 21 per cent higher than the equivalent Easter period in 2009, reflecting strong growth across all departments.

In Scotland, the Glasgow store reported a sales rise of 17.9 per cent, and Edinburgh enjoyed a 15.9 per cent increase. However, Aberdeen continued to lag behind, with a 2.1 per cent rise. It was also the only one of John Lewis's stores to register a fall in trading – down 2.5 per cent – in the nine weeks to 3 April.

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The retailer blamed the impact of the economic downturn on the Aberdeen area's oil community for the dip. John Lewis's strong overall performance followed better-than-expected fourth-quarter trading figures from fellow retail bellwether Marks & Spencer, which suggests consumer spending is holding up well this year.

The best performing John Lewis stores were at the Bluewater and Trafford shopping centres in England, where sales rose 46.3 per cent and 45.4 per cent respectively. Its online division recorded a 57.1 per cent increase.

The partnership's Waitrose chain also enjoyed buoyant trading on the back of its advertising campaign featuring celebrity chefs Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal.

The chain had a 34.4 per cent increase in total sales during the week, to 109m – up 12.8 per cent on Easter week in 2009.