John Lewis returns to sales growth as mercury dips

Department store group John Lewis enjoyed a rebound in sales last week as the heatwave eased, tempting shoppers back into its stores.

The employee-owned retailer said sales in the week to 27 July soared 13 per cent to £64 million, reversing the declines of the previous two weeks, when demand was knocked by the soaring temperatures.

Operations director Dino Rocos said electrical goods were the strongest performers, with juicers and high-end cameras proving particularly popular, while the good weather also boosted fashion sales.

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Freddie George, retail analyst at Cantor, said: “After three disappointing weeks for apparel, which were affected by the hot weather, sales appear to have recovered in the week ending 27 July.

“This positive trend, however, is likely to be reversed in the subsequent fortnight as we anniversary the successful Olympics, which had a temporary ‘feel good’ impact on sales.”

There was a mixed performance among the group’s three stores north of the Border, with Edinburgh enjoying a 7.9 per cent year-on-year increase in sales. That compared with growth of 1.4 per cent in Aberdeen, while takings at Glasgow dropped 4.3 per cent.