John Lewis sales cool in the sunshine
John Lewis has blamed the hot weather for a fall in sales last week, with the department store saying Britons chose to enjoy the heatwave rather than head to the shops.
Figures for the week to July 23 show that sales dipped 4.3% compared with the same week last year.
The company said: "The hot weather which settled over the UK last week resulted in a slowdown in sales as Britain basked in the heatwave. The heatwave had a bigger impact on the fashion and home categories, which finished at minus 7% and minus 11.2% respectively as customers chose to make the most of the British summer.
"A dip in footfall meant that big ticket items had a slower week in home, and fashion numbers were dampened by a drop-off in schoolwear purchases as the summer holidays began."
John Lewis, considered a bellwether of consumer sentiment, took £73.3m at the tills over the week.