John Lewis suffers Easter setback

JOHN Lewis suffered a rare fall in sales last week as the absence of spring weather continued to hamper fashion sales and the timing of Easter distorted comparisons.

The group said its department store sales, at £64.6 million, were 3.2 per cent weaker than the same week last year, when the Easter holiday afforded an extra day’s trading.

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It said that judged on a two-week basis that reflects the Easter in both years, sales were up 10.5 per cent, one of the group’s strongest Easter results ever.

Paula Nickolds, a buying director from John Lewis’ home department, said: “The cold weather has been unhelpful for spring and summer fashion trade.”

More weather-resilient ranges such as beauty and jewellery helped make up for the weak growth in clothing over Easter.