The John Lewis Partnership has reported a rise in sales on Christmas eve – an 11% growth in sales compared to the year previous.
Sales at the partnership, which includes both John Lewis and Waitrose stores, saw sales rise not only on Chrismas Eve but also on Boxing day.
Barry Matheson, who is the group’s head of shop trade for Scotland and the north of England, said the stores had “very strong sales on Christmas Eve and a confident start to clearance sales both online and in shops”.
Beauty and leisure products at the department store rose by 25%, whilst a rise in technology products pushed sales up 3.1%. Fashion sales surged by 11%.
Waitrose provided a particular boost to sales, with a 19.2% rise on the same week a year ago.
“As always at this time of year, our sales figures are heavily distorted by the fall of Christmas and New Year. Both these weekly performances were in line with expectations,” said a spokesperson for the group.
Nicholas Carroll, who is a senior retail analyst at research group Mintel, said: “There has obviously been a big distortion by the way the last week has included Christmas Eve, and we will get a better picture in few days time when we get sales for the whole of the six week Christmas trading period.”
“Even so at a time when retailing is meant to be on its knees, the John Lewis figures that we can see look fairly good and they imply an increase in sales of about 4% over the two week period.”
Retailers including Marks & Spencer (LON: MKS), Debenhams (LON: DEB) and Tesco (LON: TSCO) will update investors next week.
Sales at in the run-up to Christmas varied amongst retailers. Online fashion retailer Asos issued a profit warning.