John Lewis has defied high street spending with a double-digit sales increase in the first half.
Sales rose by 12.9% in the six months to 28 July, although the increase was helped by five additional stores. 'Our first-half sales have been hugely encouraging. At +12.9% we substantially outperformed a slow market. While we have added a number of new shops, growth from the established business has been strong. We managed to achieve the goal of any omni-channel retailer: growth in both shops and online,' says Andy Street, John Lewis md.
'Home, too, prospered in a testing market... our core furnishings trade has been robust with highlights in lighting, linens, beds and elements of furniture. The secret remains innovation, quality and value.'
He describes the performance of its online operations as 'trailblazing', with sales 43.5% higher. 'All product categories thrived, but most encouraging is the increase in our rate of "conversion", testament to our operation.'