Black Friday boost for John Lewis
John Lewis is celebrating the highest weekly sales in its 150-year history after the chain sold one tablet computer every second during Black Friday.
The retailer kick-started its Christmas selling season as sales hit £179.1 million for the week ending November 29, up 21.8% on the same period a year ago and 56.8% up on the previous week.
Online weekly sales leapt 42.2% on the year, while a number of its stores achieved record daily takings, including York, Southampton, Liverpool and its flagship store in London's Oxford Street.
The high street bellwether's electrical department was the star performer with weekly sales up a record 40.9%. Samsung big-screen TVs were selling at the rate of one every minute on Black Friday.
The group said bargain-hunting shoppers logged on to its website at midnight on Thursday/Friday night, sending traffic numbers up 300% in the early hours of the morning. Tablet and mobile traffic also increased 70% between midnight and 8am on Friday.
On Black Friday the chain said tablet and computer sales rocketed 127% on the year, TVs and other visual equipment jumped 131%, and small electricals lifted by 66%.
Fashion also performed well for the week, rising 16.7% compared to a year ago, and posting record single-day sales on Black Friday.
John Lewis operations director Dino Rocos said: "Our website coped well with exceptional demand whilst the atmosphere in our shops remained both seasonal and calm."
The group has 42 John Lewis shops - 31 department stores, 10 John Lewis at Home, and a shop at Heathrow Terminal 2. It also owns supermarket Waitrose, which has around 280 outlets.
Independent retail analyst Nick Bubb said: "John Lewis can certainly be pleased with their operational success in handling all the extra volume of business last week and they look to have got more than their share of Black Friday spending, but how much has been pulled forward from December and how much was pulled away from other high street retailers by that huge Black Friday spike remains to be seen."