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‘Beginning to look like Christmas’ as online sales rise

John Lewis today heralded the start of the Christmas shopping season with the multichannel launch of its Christmas shopping advert, together with news of robust rises in online sales. At the same time, Marin Software said that last year’s most profitable day for retailers was November 28 – and warned traders to be ready for it.

John Lewis said it’s “beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” today as it reported online sales up by more than a fifth and launched its multichannel Christmas ad campaign.

Across all John Lewis’ channels, sales were up by 4.4% in the week to November 5. But online, at johnlewis.com they were up by 20.6%. Commenting on the weekly sales figures, Suzanne Given, buying director for fashion and beauty, detected: “altogether a solid performance as we enter the all-important final quarter.” She added: “It’s beginning to feel like Christmas and, with a bit of ground frost on its way, we will look to retain last week’s momentum as we trade into November.”

The figures came as the retailer launched its £6m Christmas advertising campaign online via Facebook and YouTube, ahead of its first TV airing on tomorrow’s X Factor ad break at 8.45pm.

John Lewis director of marketing Craig Inglis said: “It’s a magical feeling when you find that perfect present for someone, there’s a great sense of anticipation from the moment you buy it to the moment you give the gift on the big day. That feeling is exactly what we’ve tried to capture with this year’s Christmas campaign.”

Meanwhile Marin Software reminded retailers that last year the Monday that falls after the US Thanksgiving was the most profitable for UK retailers. Marin says the rising importance of this date – which this year falls on Monday November 28 – reflects the globalisation of shopping trends.

Releasing its Online Marketers’ 2011 Christmas Shopping guide, Marin’s EMEA and APAC managing director Ed Stevenson said: “The similarities the data identified between UK and US 2010 shopping habits is an indication of the globalisation brought about by the internet. As we expect consumer behaviour this Christmas to follow a similar trend to last year, we’re advising UK marketers to ensure that they have their online campaigns geared up to reach the millions of consumers sure to be shopping online the Monday after Thanksgiving (28th November) this year. After all, the retailer that best takes advantage of online consumer tendencies stands a better chance of elevating their message above the competition.”

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