John Lewis Partnership’s UK upmarket chains Waitrose and John Lewis both faced a tough period last year due to bank holidays and tough Jubilee comparables.
John Lewis continue to post positive figures for week 18, recording an 8.4 per cent sales increase from the same time last year. Electricals & home entertainment (EHT) did the best according to the department store, with new product launches within technology proving particular popular with customers.
Waitrose’s brave move in to horticulture has seemed to pay off after recording 26 per cent rise in the sector. The upmarket grocer believes healthy figures are in part due to the Chelsea Flower Show, which took place last week between 21-25 May. Mark Williamson, commercial director of Waitrose, said: “The Chelsea Flower Show ran throughout last week, and many people clearly got in to the spirit, with our horticulture sales up by 26 per cent.
John Lewis remained up-beat this week after publishing positive financial results despite inconsistent summer bank holiday weather. The retailer said the weather had had a profound effect on its fashion sector, with sales dropping 7.2 per cent from the same time last year, but some stores turned in terrific performances, notably the at home stores which saw an increase of 43.5 per cent.
The latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel show an ongoing polarisation of the grocery market, as both Aldi and Waitrose continue to make gains on rivals. Value retailer Aldi posted an all-time record share of 3.5 per cent in the 12 weeks to 12 May 2013, up from 2.8 per cent of the market last year.
The former chief executive of Marks & Spencer and now Ocado chairman, Sir Stuart Rose, has reportedly seen his personal wealth rise by GBP 1.5 million following the delivery group’s deal with Morrisons, the Mail on Sunday reports. The retail veteran owns 1.2 million shares in Ocado, 450,000 of which were acquired as a result of his appointment as chairman on March 11.
Despite tough comparisons across the business, John Lewis’ fashion sales rose 4.8 per cent in the week to 11 May, as the warm weather spurred on clothing lines. A warm bank holiday weekend brought a sharp drop in footfall for John Lewis in the seven days to 11 May, with total sales falling to -0.2 per cent year-on-year.
Wealthy residents of the Sandbanks millionaire’s row remain perplexed by the acquisition of a Tesco Express, which plans to open in July. Residents from Dorset have expressed their frustration by claiming that the convenience store will be an ‘eyesore’ and that it would look ‘like a filling in a set of teeth’, the Daily Mail reports.
Ocado, the grocery delivery service, saw its shares drop 8 per cent amid a potential breach of contract with main clients Waitrose, The Guardian reported Monday. Waitrose lawyers remain concerned about Ocado’s proposed deal to set Morrisons up with their own online delivery service, fearing a conflict of interests.
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