John Lewis sales were up 7.5 per cent year-on-year to the week ending 15 June. The gain is in line with the overall increase of 7.9 per cent in the 20 weeks to 15 June.
That compares with the previous week's 5.2 per cent decline, which the employee-owned retailer blamed on booming sales a year earlier because of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Sales of Father's Day cards were up 45 per cent, online sales were up 18.8 per cent, and home technology sales were up by almost ten per cent. It's worth noting that sales of outdoor furniture more than doubled, and there was also strong growth in picnic ware and sunglasses, suggesting that the good weather has been pushing up consumer demand.
Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist says that consumer confidence will be vital in determining whether the economy will continue to grow.
The store is also experimenting with its first "little Waitrose at John Lewis" store in the back-of-house area in John Lewis Watford, which could be introduced to other shops if it goes down well.
The new shop, which represents a £2 million investment by the retailer and has created 30 jobs in the local area, builds on the established little Waitrose format and will enable customers to pick up Waitrose products whilst shopping at the John Lewis Watford department store.
The shop, which is run by John Lewis Partners especially for the John Lewis customer, features a bakery counter that serves bread and viennoiserie products fresh from the oven, alongside individually wrapped cakes and pastries. A key point of differentiation is the meat and fish counter manned by specialists in the shop who can offer expert advice to customers.
Customers will also be able to stock up on an extensive range of ales and beers, and a large assortment of fine wines and champagnes as well as being able to pick up fresh flowers and store cupboard items, including laundry and cleaning products.
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