Tricky weather, the reason for a rare dip in weekly sales at John Lewis

Friday, 19 September 2014

John Lewis (JLP.UL), reported a “rare” dip in weekly sales on Friday, reported Reuters. The Britain's biggest department stores group became thus the first major UK retailer to say shoppers were delaying purchases of winter clothing because of unseasonably warm weather.

"With children now back at school, thoughts would usually turn to winter essentials; however, the unseasonably warmer days are delaying these purchases," John Lewis said after posting sales fell 3.5 percent year-on-year to 72.2 million pounds in the week to Sept. 13. "Footfall was restricted on the year due to less promotional activity on the high street," it added.

The retailer's fashion sales were the most affected by the unusually warm weather, shredding 13.1 percent on the year.

This dip contrasts with John Lewis' sales for the nine weeks to Sept. 13 - the first nine weeks of its second half – increase of 9 percent, a big outperformance of the wider sector.

"For the present, there has been very limited promotional activity on the high street but the longer the mild weather continues the more likely retailers will be forced to discount their autumn/winter ranges," said Cantor Fitzgerald retail analyst Freddie George.

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