Jan 2, 2019

John Lewis sales rise over Christmas

John Lewis offered UK retailers some brighter news after months of increasingly downbeat commentary, reporting year-on-year sales increases in the two key weeks around Christmas. The company said Christmas Eve sales had been "Very strong" and that it had made a "Confident" start to its clearance event, which started online on Christmas Eve and in stores on Boxing Day. Among quoted retailers, shares in Next - which reports on Christmas trading on Thursday and now makes over half its sales online - closed up 4.5 per cent. Both are due to report on Christmas trading on January 10, when John Lewis will also provide a fuller update. The John Lewis sales figures also reinforce the perception that Black Friday, the promotional event held in late November, pulls full-priced sales forward from December and leaves retailers more dependent than ever on a last-minute rush just before Christmas Day.

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