Department store chain, John Lewis, always a barometer for spending and consumer patterns on the UK high street, said that sales had been lifted by “back to school” shopping last week.
John Lewis has 37 stores across the UK and it reported that sales rose by 15.3 per cent to £70.5 million in the week ending September 1st.
In total, 27 of the 32 stores that were trading a year ago reported sales growth. The John Lewis Partnership continues to outperform the rest of the high street.
Sales were lifted by increased sales of school clothes and electrical items such as tablets and iPads.
John Lewis also owns Waitrose supermarket which reported a rise of 6.4 per cent in sales to reach £105.4 million also said that the new school term helped sales.
John Lewis reported that three of its well-established stores in Poole, Swindon and Croydon all reporting sales growth of more than 20 per cent.
Online sales for the group through its jl.com website grew by 36 per cent.
Howard Archer, Chief UK & European Economist at IHS Global said: “The latest John Lewis figures contrast markedly with the soft British Retail Consortium for August released earlier this week.
Looking at the rest of the retail sector and the near-term outlook, Mr Archer said that UK consumers are still facing unremitting pressures for the rest of the year.
He said: “Hopes that the squeeze on consumers’ purchasing power would ease markedly further over the latter months of 2012 are waning.
“In particular, petrol prices, rising utility bills and the possibility of higher food prices could see consumer price inflation move back up at least in the near term. Meanwhile, wage growth is muted and is likely to remain so.”
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