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John Lewis sees strong online sales lift in run up to Easter

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‘Superb’ trading in the run up to Easter saw online sales at rise almost 40% last week.

In the week to April 7, the department store chain reported today, strong sales of technology such as the iPad 3 and digital televisions helped push online sales up by 39.1%, compared to the same time last year. Sales in its electricals, home and technology division alone rose by 65% while fashion sales were up by 33% and home by 17%.

The rise contributed to a 27% sales rise across the John Lewis estate to £66.73m. Most branches enjoyed double digit sales growth during the week. However the best result came in the Leicester branch where transactions were up by 42%.

Compared to the run up to Easter last year, the performance was also strong. “In comparison with the Good Friday week last year we delivered a stunning increase of 25 per cent,” said regional selling operations director David Barford. “The vast majority of our branches delivered double-figure increases with the poorer weather at the end of the week driving customers into shops.”

Our view: As a privately-held company that publishes its figures each week, John Lewis’ sales are a useful indicator for sales across the rest of the country. As such, it’s interesting to see the Easter school holidays brought a strong lift to sales, both online and offline, that may be seen more widely across the economy. These figures follow a strong showing for retail sales in this week’s BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Index. But while John Lewis puts its sales rise down to rain, the BRC sees sunshine as responsible for the growth it reports.

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