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Johnlewis.com first-half sales up by more than a third

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John Lewis’ online division has led the way for the whole group in the first half of its financial year. The company saw sales at johnlewis.com rise by 36% in the six months to July 31, compared to the same time last year. This, said John Lewis managing director Andy Street, “really does stand out against the market”. The rise came after a half in which the group unveiled its first advert, in the Never Knowingly Undersold campaign, promoting online shopping at John Lewis.

Overall group sales for the period rose by 14.9%, or 12.6% excluding VAT, compared to last year. Notably, said Street, this was 11.4% above the pre-recession figures of 2008.

Fashion saw a 19% rise in sales, while home sales rose by 16.7%. Following johnlewis.com, came stores at Trafford, Cambridge, Leicester and in London, all with double digit rises.

Street said: “Across the established shops, the recovery was decisive.

“Looking ahead, our first half year’s form should give us great confidence for the all-important second half. But we should be realistic in our expectations as we come up against stronger figures from last year. I suspect we won’t finish with another 15% advance.”

The update came in the company’s figures for the week to July 31, in which sales totalled £52.68m, up by a “subdued” 5.3% compared to the same week last year.

The highlight of the week's was the launch of the iPad.
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