Belfast Telegraph

Sales jump 11% at John Lewis retail chain

Department store John Lewis reported a bumper week of sales as Christmas shopping started early - but the retailer dashed hopes that consumer confidence is growing.

Its sales leapt by 11.5% in the week to Saturday November 13 compared with the week before, as consumers snapped up home entertainment goods and Christmas decorations.

Its weekly sales hit £76.9m which is 6.8% up on the same week last year and 25% growth on the same week two years ago, it claimed.

A report earlier this month from the British Retail Consortium showed that sales of non-food items only increased by 1.4% in the three months ended October, while like-for-like sales showed a slight decrease.

But John Lewis did not believe the strong figures in November showed consumer confidence has grown - only that it has won sales from its rivals.

John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: "This is a very robust performance and in contrast to what everyone else is saying about how things are proving difficult. Our hunch is that these figures will be better than the rest of the market."