John Lewis Christmas sales boosted by online growth

Monday, 05 January 2015
Department store John Lewis has reported that’s its click-and-collect offering has driven online sales growth over the Christmas period, with total sales reaching 777 million pounds in the five weeks to December 27. Christmas sales were up 5.8 percent on last year and a rise of 4.8 percent on a like-for-like basis, boosted by online purchases increasing by 19 percent, which now represents 36 percent of the total, up from 32 percent last year, while bricks and mortar sales remained flat.

The increase in online sales also meant that the final week of the Christmas period saw the department store break all of its click-and-collect records, with more than half of online customers (56 percent) selecting to collect in store rather than have it delivered, a shift the department store said would continue.

This boost was helped by John Lewis extending its order cut-off until 8pm on December 23 for collection on Christmas Eve, allowing last minute customers to take advantage of the convenient service.

Andy Street, John Lewis managing director, said: "This year confirmed the new shape of trade for Christmas, with an early peak at the end of November driven by Black Friday and last minute gift buying."

John Lewis reports click-and-collect boosted trade over Christmas

Black Friday, which took place on November 28, brought the company its biggest sales week in 150 years, up 22 percent on last year, and heavily impacted the shape of trade over the festive period.

Street added: “With Black Friday driving a higher proportion of online sales and customers increasingly wanting more convenience, this has meant a real concentration on fulfilment, making this a truly ‘Logistics Christmas’. The investments we have made and the new capabilities we have built in recent years in Distribution and IT have been fundamental in ensuring we successfully navigate this changing shape of trade.”

The department store also said added that its fashion and beauty had increased over the period, due to a mixture of colder weather, gifting and price matching, women’s accessories and beauty achieved a sales increase of 25 percent, while menswear and sports was up 8 percent.

Sales in the shops remained level with last year although the “At Home” and new format shops including Exeter, Poole, Chichester, Heathrow and St Pancras, all grew their business during the Christmas season, which is why the department store is pressing ahead with its plans to grow its store numbers, with openings in Birmingham, Leeds and Oxford.

Commenting on the bricks and mortar performance, Street added: “Our shops continue to have a critical role to play in the omnichannel shopping journey, and will be a major development focus for us over the coming months. To that end, we will be opening two further “At Home” shops in Horsham and Basingstoke in 2015 as well as our new regional flagship in the heart of Birmingham in September, which will set an exciting new benchmark in bricks and mortar retailing.”

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