World Cup helps John Lewis sale rise 20% in just a week

JOHN Lewis saw sales at its stores jump 20 per cent last week as World Cup fever encouraged more customers to buy flat-screen televisions.

The electricals and technology department was the busiest of the group's three divisions during the week to last Saturday, with sales up 27 per cent on a year ago.

But Aberdeen continues to lag behind the recovery seen at the group's other department stores, posting a 5.9 per cent fall last week and a 2.8 per cent fall in the year so far.

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The retailer has blamed the impact of the economic downturn on the Aberdeen area's oil community for the store's continued sluggish performance.

Glasgow was the group's top performing Scottish store last week, up 11.2 per cent and 6.7 per cent in the year to date.

Edinburgh posted a 9.9 per cent sales increase and 4.6 per cent in the year to date.

Some of John Lewis's English stores saw rises of up to 35 per cent, however, as the national side prepare in South Africa.

The fashion and home departments posted growth of 19 per cent and 18 per cent respectively, with World Cup stock selling well in sports and childrenswear.

Total sales during the week were 53.99m, compared to 44.78m last year.

At Waitrose, the grocery arm of the John Lewis Partnership, sales were 6.1 per cent higher as the warm weather over the half term increased sales of barbecue food.

Fruit sales were up by nearly a third, driven by sales of lemons as customers made a recipe promoted by chef Heston Blumenthal in the supermarket's latest advertising campaign. Total sales for the week were 94.42m, up from 89.01m.