Fashion sales increased by 7.8% during the five-week period

Fashion sales increased by 7.8% during the five-week period

Department store retailer John Lewis delivered a market beating performance during the Christmas trading period, with the standout being strong Black Friday sales. 

The group saw sales increase 5.8% to GBP777m (US$1.19bn) during the five weeks to 27 December, and like-for-like sales were up 4.8%. Compared with two years ago, total sales were 13.4% higher, while like-for-like sales grew by 12%.

Fashion (including beauty) sales increased by 7.8%, helped by very strong online trade. Electricals and home technology booked a 6.8% rise, and although home posted a 2.3% increase, this was slower on last year. 

Online sales rose 19%, while sales in its shops remained level with last year.

John Lewis said the standout feature driving a new shape of trade was its success on Black Friday (28 November) - the biggest week for sales in its history, and was up 22% on the same period a year ago.

"This year confirmed the new shape of trade for Christmas, with an early peak at the end of November driven by Black Friday and last minute gift buying," said managing director Andy Street.

He later added: "Our shops continue to have a critical role to play in the omnichannel shopping journey, and will be a major development focus for us over the coming months."

Commenting on the results, Conlumino analyst Neil Saunders said: "In many ways, this Christmas shows that John Lewis is one of the retailers coping well with the new model of retailing. Its investments and innovations have given it the flexibility to deliver in changing times."