Sales at retailer John Lewis rose 3.8 percent last week
today Jul 19, 2016
Retailer John Lewis reported on Tuesday a 3.8 percent year-on-year increase in sales at its department store chain in the week to July 16, a slight slowdown on the previous week's growth.
As the only British retailer to publish weekly sales data, John Lewis provides the most up-to-date snapshot of shopping behaviour after Britain voted to leave the European Union on June 23, though the data is clouded by the impact of the timing of the summer sale and year-on-year weather comparisons.
The employee-owned John Lewis Partnership owns Britain's biggest department store chain as well as the upmarket Waitrose supermarket group.
The firm said its department store sales in the last week rose to 83.1 million pounds ($109.7 million), having increased 4.7 percent in the previous week.
Waitrose's sales rose 2.9 percent to 126.6 million pounds. They had risen 2.0 percent in the previous week.
John Lewis made no mention of the Brexit vote in its brief commentary.
It said there was evidence that "spending time outside" and preparations for the height of the wedding season were the two top trends driving sales at its department stores.
A survey published on July 8 showed consumer confidence suffered one of its biggest drops in 21 years in the wake of the Brexit vote.
While the FTSE 100 index of blue chip stocks has recovered from its post-referendum slump, given a bias to overseas earners, UK-focused stocks such as general retailers are still significantly down, reflecting the possible impact of the current economic and political uncertainty on consumer confidence and spending.
($1 = 0.7576 pounds)
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