John Lewis Festive Sales Grow But Competition Dents Margins

Postado Janeiro 12, 2018

The UK department store group said gross sales were up 2.5% versus past year to GBP1.96bn (US$2.64bn) in the six weeks to 30 December.

British retailer John Lewis warned that trading was likely to remain volatile in 2018 after higher costs and tough competition blunted the benefits of solid Christmas sales.

However, chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said pressure on margins had intensified and the group's decision to maintain competitive prices despite higher costs would negatively affect the full year results.

John Lewis said Waitrose achieved like-for-like sales growth of 1.5%, driven by strong performance by its online business which achieved its biggest week of sales in its history.

In its Christmas trading statement today (11 January), the Partnership said gross sales were up 2.5% versus previous year to GBP1.96bn (US$2.64bn) in the six weeks to 30 December.

The partnership's top line growth was dragged down by a slower expansion at Waitrose, where sales at stores open more than one year climbed 1.5 per cent. JLP said that if the period had included New Year's Eve, as it did last year, like-for-like growth would be around 2.1p per cent.

Looking ahead to 2018/19, he said the Partnership expects trading to be volatile due to the economic environment but is well placed to continue building the strength of its two leading brands. "Ongoing under-performance" in food saw sales fall 0.4 per cent.

Gross sales at the partnership rose 2.5 per cent to £1.96bn.

For M&S however, UK LFL sales fell 1.4% in the third quarter, weighed down by a 0.4% drop in food sales and a 2.8% fall in clothing and home sales. The retailer did not participate in Black Friday to hold its full price stance despite the competitive market. "International revenue was down, reflecting the completion of the planned closure of owned stores in loss-making markets".