Belfast Telegraph

Black Friday helps John Lewis post record trading week

John Lewis has reported record sales of around £200 million in the lead-up to Black Friday, marking the biggest ever trading week in the retailer's history.

Sales were up 6.5% to £199.8 million for the week to November 26, compared with £187.7 million over the same period last year, which held the previous record.

The company saw a boost in traffic for both its bricks and mortar and online stores, and was taking around five online orders per second during the busiest time on Friday morning.

Its Magna Park distribution centre processed 33% more units on Saturday than it did last year, with around 12,000 units processed per hour across its network over the weekend.

Samsung TVs, KitchenAid items and GHD hair straighteners were some of the best sellers in the electronics department, which saw an 11% rise in sales last week compared with 2015.

Fashion sales were up 4.6%, with a 13.4% jump in beauty sales, a 15.1% increase in womenswear and an 8.1% rise in menswear.

Sales in sportswear and equipment saw a bumper 26.1% year-on-year increase.

Operations director Dino Rocos said: "Overall, the success of the week's trade for John Lewis is down to meticulous planning and expert execution.

"From our retail and distribution partners who helped customers get the products they wanted, to our teams behind the scenes in commercial and IT, each of our partners should be rightly proud of the part they have played in delivering this milestone result."

It provides some good news after the John Lewis Partnership reported a 14.7% slide in half-year pre-tax profits to £ 81.9 million in September, citing "deep structural changes in the retail market".

The group, which also owns Waitrose, said its commitment to competitive pricing, increasing pay and investment held back profits in the six months to July 30.

After exceptional items, including a £25 million write-down on property assets that it no longer intends to develop, pre-tax profits in the period plunged 75% to £56.9 million.

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