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John Lewis online Christmas boom driven by mobile

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John Lewis , an Elite company in the IRUK Top500 research, saw a 31% rise in sales via mobile in the run up to Christmas, as online boomed to account for 40% of the chain’s sales to 2 January.

In contrast, sales via the high street dropped by 3% for John Lewis, with its Waitrose food stores seeing a drop of 1.4% – largely put down to the rise in online shopping.

“All the signs are that we dramatically out-performed the market,” Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis said, because the late rush had increased the pace of sales growth from 3.5% in November to nearly 7% over the six weeks to 2 January. “People were ordering online in huge quantities even on the Monday and Tuesday before Christmas,” he added.

“Mobile and online shopping are no longer just part of the ‘multichannel’ mix but the focus of it,” comments Iain Devine, Commercial Director at digital consultancy Salmon. “For retailers who saw online success over the period, this is a reflection of ensuring they were prepared with strong online operations for the influx and were ready to make the most of the opportunity. The most successful retailers are those that planned their online peak operations strategy, briefing relevant departments to ensure all online trading and operations teams could anticipate surges and were ready to react. John Lewis has embraced multi-channel and all its aspects, making it a seamless journey from the initial stages of research, to the point of sale and click and collect. For other retailers to reap the rewards of their online channels, those who are seamlessly aligned from front-end to back-end, will be the ones to triumph in 2016 as mobile and online shopping continue to grow.”

The news of John Lewis’ online Christmas boom comes as rival M&S saw its online sales gain a 20% boost over the Christmas quarter, as more customers chose to shop online. But fast online growth could not prevent an overall third-quarter dip in UK sales as Black Friday discounting was followed by “unprecedented levels of promotional activity in the market.” Across the Marks & Spencer Group, sales were flat.

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