Surprise dip in sales at John Lewis

John Lewis suffered a dramatic slowdown in sales growth last week as a rare spell of good weather enticed shoppers away from its stores.

The retailer, which this week reported a 60 per cent jump in first-half profits, said sales for the week to 8 September rose 4.3 per cent – well down on the 10.4 per cent growth for the same period a year ago. Its Aberdeen branch enjoyed a 7.2 per cent increase, but sales in Edinburgh were down 1.3 per cent.

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John Lewis said the slowdown was primarily due to a drop in footfall “fuelled by the fantastic weather at the end of the week”.

Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight warned against reading too much into one week’s sales, “but the concern is that the John Lewis figures could be a sign that many consumers are tightening their belts after the summer holidays”.