Rough ride for John Lewis as department store sales slip

JOHN Lewis illustrated the tough times being faced by the retail sector yesterday after posting a 3.2 per cent year-on-year fall in sales for the week to Saturday.

Despite the employee-owned company’s website posting an 18 per cent rise in sales, the department store chain suffered from “unseasonably mild weather”.

Week-on-week sales were up 11.6 per cent, with beds and bedding selling well as shoppers prepare for their Christmas visitors, and sales of toys, festive season decorations and food for gifts also ahead of last year.

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Lesley Ballantyne, operational development director and former managing director of the firm’s Glasgow branch, said: “We are pleased to see a strong uplift in week-on-week sales.”

News of the falling sales came as John Lewis launched an album featuring songs from its television advertisements – including tracks by Ellie Goulding, Amy Macdonald and The Feeling – to raise money for Save the Children.