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John Lewis online sales grew by 42.2% in Black Friday week

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John Lewis set new sales records in the week that ended in Black Friday. The department store said that on Black Friday alone, sales rose by 21.8% compared to the equivalent day last year, while online sales grew by 42.2%.

Across the full week to Saturday November 29, sales of £179.1m were 21.8% up on last year and 56.8% up on the previous week. The figures were well ahead of the retailer’s previous record week, when shoppers spent £164.4m in the week before Christmas last year. Shops including Oxford Street saw record takings on Black Friday itself.

The retailer said Black Friday started on the stroke of midnight, with traffic increasing by 300% during the early hours of the morning. Between midnight and 8am, 70% of traffic came from smartphones and tablets. Online sales peaked when almost 13,000 orders were placed between 8am and 9am. Distribution centres picked and packed 54% more orders on Friday, rising to 87% more on Saturday, as Friday orders were processed.

“There was clearly huge customer anticipation of Black Friday this year and we knew we had high expectations to meet,” said Dino Rocos, operations director at John Lewis. He added: “While the sales figures are attention-grabbing, for me our biggest achievement was delivering an operation which ran like clockwork. We picked and packed 87% more online parcels on Saturday than we did last year and to have delivered successfully on customer expectations is a testament to the work of our partners both on Black Friday itself and in our forward-planning. Our website coped well with exceptional demand whilst the atmosphere in our shops remained both seasonal and calm with customers enjoying extended opening hours and the great offers to be had.”

Categories that did well included electricals, with sales up by 40.9%, year-on-year, while tablets and computer sales rose by 127%, vision sales rose by 131%, and small electricals were up by 66%. Beyond electricals, fashion sales rose by 16.7%, year-on-year – on Black Friday the department had its best day ever.

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