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Fast growth for John Lewis (IRM57)

John Lewis illustrated the changing way that shoppers are buying as full-year results showed growing online sales and falling store sales. While online sales grew by 17% in its latest financial year, with m-commerce up by 34%, store sales fell by 1%. Parent company the John Lewis Partnership said the story was very much a multichannel one.

“Our results were very much a result of the effective combination of shops and online, demonstrated by the fact that more than three-quarters of our customers made a purchase from one of our shops,” said John Lewis Chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield.

In addition, the company said, John Lewis, an Elite retailer in IRUK Top500 research, found that its online sales go up in areas where it opens a new shop.

At the same time, online sales at sister supermarket Waitrose, a Leading IRUK Top500 retailer, were down by 2.9% on last year, in comparison to what the partnership described as a “strong promotion-driven performance last year.” But in the second half of the year, ecommerce sales were up by 8.3%.

The figures came as the John Lewis Partnership reported sales of £11bn in the year to 30 January 2016, 0.7% up on the previous year.

Sales at John Lewis came in at £4.56bn, 2.8% up on the same time last year, while Waitrose sales of £6.5bn were 0.7% down.

Group pre-tax profits of £305.5m, before one-off charges, were 10.9% down on the same time last year, with operating profits at John Lewis up by 0.1% at £250.2m, and at Waitrose down by 2% at £232.6m.

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