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John Lewis reports a boost to Christmas retail sales

December 5, 2011 by J Wade

There is some hopeful news for retailers this winter as John Lewis has reported an increase in sales in the run up to Christmas. The John Lewis store in Southampton’s WestQuay is one of the stores that have seen in increase in demand in recent weeks. Last year sales were disrupted by heavy snowfall, however, so far this years sales are up 10.9% on 2009 figures.

The recent cold weather has really helped local retailers. It was thought that the Indian summer kept shoppers away this autumn, but the change in the weather with more wintry conditions forecast has seen increased sales in gloves, scarves, coats, cashmere and other winter items.

The last 4 days of November were very promising for John Lewis. In addition to increased sales in winter clothing the first uplift in Christmas sales started, with many shoppers spending in the home and gift departments. Trends suggest that many people are preparing for a simple Christmas at home, with an increase in demand for kitchen electricals for home baking and entertaining.

Also it seems that women are starting to spend a little more on luxury items. John Lewis reported that they were selling a handbag every 10 seconds and sales of women’s party shoes are up by 16%.

Nat Wakely, Director of Selling Operations for John Lewis, is hopeful of a much healthier Christmas period this year;

"Trade this week is strong as shoppers continue to prepare their homes ahead of the arrival of guests and look forward to the start of the festive party season.Good performances from home, gifting, fashion and beauty this week indicate that customers are well in the mood for Christmas at the start of December."

If John Lewis' is attracting more shoppers then this will likely have a positive knock-on effect for other local stores, especially those in the WestQuay shopping centre. 

John Lewis saw a 13.9% increase in online sales last year through their website, JohnLewis.com. This year they launched an advertising campaign on YouTube which has received 3.2 million viewers already. The advert has a very subdued and nostalgic mood and is very much focused on a Christmas for children, but with a lovely twist at the end.

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