Nov 7, 2017
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John Lewis sees fashion and beauty uptick

Nov 7, 2017

It looks like the fashion drought that UK retail saw in October might just be easing with John Lewis’s latest report showing that its Fashion directory sales rose in the latest week, although the evidence is still far from conclusive and beauty, especially fragrance was the strongest category.

Fragrance helped to drive sales upwards at John Lewis in the latest week

Total sales for the department store retailer were down 3.7%, however, to £102.03 million as UK retail generally remained tough. 

So what about that fashion rise? Even though Fashion directory sales rose by a fairly healthy 4.5%, John Lewis didn’t go into much detail about may fashion categories that did well and it looks like a lot of the rise was accounted for by beauty, wellbeing and leisure, which is part of that department. The category saw double-digit growth for the week, driven by the price matching of a competitor's promotion. 

The retailer also said fragrance performed exceptionally well, up 59% versus last year, with fragrance gift sets a standout, presumably helped by the realisation that Christmas is only a few weeks away. 

Home directory sales were down 7%, extending their weak run all year. But Halloween ended the season strongly however, up 24% for the season as a whole and confirming that John Lewis is now a go-to Halloween destination. 

Electrical and home technology sales were down 8.4%. John Lewis own brand audio products had a good week, however, with Sonos also performing well. Within Vision, LG and Sony products helped drive a sales uplift of 1.3% and mobile had a particularly strong week, driven by the launch of the iPhone X.

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