Jan 9, 2018
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Fashion dips at John Lewis ahead of big athleisure launch

Jan 9, 2018

John Lewis sales dropped in the week to January 6 with a 4.7% fall to £98.5 million. That was partly due to New Year’s Day having been on Monday this time with January 1 falling on a Sunday in 2017.

John Lewis

But it also reflected a tough market for fashion and other product categories in recent months. The retailer said its Fashion sales fell year-on-year during the week, but at least the 3% drop was better than the store chain’s overall performance. 

And the firm is expecting a boost in the current week as it launches its its new exclusive range of athleisure clothing designed in collaboration with wellbeing brand Patternity.

But while that offers hope for future trading and should hopefully continue a tradition of healthy sales for exclusive brands, it still leaves last week looking sluggish.

At leats fashion wasn’t as bad as some other ‘directories’ at the chain with Home down 5.3%, even though Furniture and Flooring sales were up 1.5% on last year.

And even the usually-buoyant Electricals and Home Technology department saw it sales falling 5.2%, although the retailer saw “good sales” in Audio, Connected Home and Small Electricals.

It’s a contrast to much stronger performances in the past few years and also earlier in 2017, showing that even the strongest names in the department stores sector are not immune to the current weak environment.

But at least John Lewis’s general strength means nobody is questioning its future in the way that they are chains such as Debenhams and House of Fraser.

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