Warm weather blamed for dip in sales at John Lewis

Department store group John Lewis has blamed a dip in sales last week on the warm bank holiday weather, although it said there were some “encouraging signs” as temperatures cooled towards the end of the week.

The employee-owned retailer said sales during the week to 11 May were 0.2 per cent lower than last year, although the sunshine helped drive a 4.8 per cent increase in takings at its fashion department.

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Not every part of the UK basked in the warm weather though, and the firm’s Scottish stores were among its best performers. Edinburgh enjoyed a 2.2 per cent increase, followed by Aberdeen at 1.2 per cent and Glasgow with a 1 per cent rise.

But Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said the overall dip in sales “fuels concern that consumers may currently be limiting their spending in reaction to the increased pressure on their purchasing power coming from recently higher inflation and very low earnings growth”.