John Lewis has enjoyed the biggest week in its history with sales of nearly £200 million, thanks to Black Friday.
The department store group said it achieved sales of £199.8m in the week to last Friday, up 6.5 per cent on the same week last year. It traded well in shops and online, with shops becoming busier at the weekend, reports The Guardian.
Since the US-inspired shopping bonanza arrived in the UK six years ago, it has become mainly an online event. Many retailers discount heavily between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
“The question is how far it’s pulled sales forward from this week and December,” said independent retail analyst Nick Bubb. “It’s a big week, bigger than Christmas. The full story isn’t yet told. That’s going to be the question for all retailers.”
Industry figures from Springboard showed online purchases rose 6.7 per cent this Black Friday compared with last year, well short of the expected double-digit surge. On the other hand, footfall at shops rose unexpectedly, by 2 per cent.
In the US, Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day in history, with $3.39 billion spent online, up 10.2 per cent year on year, according to data from Adobe. It beat Black Friday at $3.34 billion. Televisions saw the biggest discounts.
John Lewis said customers used their mobile phones to shop between midnight and 9am on Black Friday, but switched to shopping on their desktop computers once they arrived at work. At the busiest time on Friday morning, five orders were made every second on the John Lewis website.
As elsewhere, electrical items were the biggest draw at John Lewis, with sales up 11 per cent year on year. Bestsellers included Sonos Play:1 wireless speakers and GHD hair straighteners, Samsung TVs and KitchenAid appliances.
Fashion sales were 4.6 per cent higher. Sales were particularly strong in beauty, womenswear, menswear and sports. Ted Baker and Michael Kors accessories were particularly popular, along with Barbour clothing and Calvin Klein pyjamas and lingerie. But the home department offered fewer deals on branded items and sales edged up just 0.9 per cent.
The group’s Waitrose division made sales of £136.6m last week, up 1.3 per cent. Beer, wine and spirits were the biggest sellers with sales up 4.5 per cent as people used their last payday before Christmas to stock up for the festive season. Turkey orders were almost a third higher than last year as Thanksgiving becomes more popular in the UK, and Waitrose also sold a third more pumpkin pie pastry cases than last year. - IH