John Lewis confirmed customers are choosing to leave their Christmas shopping “right up until the last minute," as weekly sales year-on-year were down 2.4 per cent. Online sales grew by 5.5 percent on year.
Fashion had the biggest increase with 2.4 percent on year. Menswear and sports also achieved record weeks with sports sales jumping 13 percent, men’s formalwear up 9.2 percent and John Lewis' own brand up 6.6 percent.
Childrenswear also saw “significant” sales of 11 percent including nightwear, up 24 percent, with onesies continuing their enduring popularity, the retailer noted.
Retail director Andrew Murphy added: “Last week we said it’s all to play for and that is still absolutely the case as we have seen a building trend of customers leaving their gift purchases right up until the last minute.
“The record levels of trade in our fashion and home assortments are hard won in what has been a challenging market. However, busy though our shops have been over the past week, it's only in these final pre-Christmas days that many customers are finally moving to complete their gift buying and other purchases. Consequently our Partners are standing ready for a very busy final trading day before the festive break.”