John Lewis reported another sharp fall in UK department store sales today after consumer confidence was shaken by the ongoing economic turmoil.
Sales declined by 8.3% to £48.7m (€62.1m) in the week to last Saturday, following on from the 5.6% decline seen in the previous week.
Individual stores posted some big falls, with sales at Southampton and Bristol’s Cribbs Causeway down by almost a quarter on a year earlier.
Waitrose – the supermarket arm of the John Lewis Partnership – also struggled as weekly sales dropped 0.7% to £73.6m (€94m).
Dan Knowles, selling operations director for the department store business, said the weather also contributed to the difficult week.
He added: “A combination of unseasonably sunny, warm weather and a huge amount of coverage of the global economic situation added together to give a very tough trading week.
“Sales declined by 8.3% in what we know is a very difficult market – a market in which we continue to grow our share.”
John Lewis said fitted kitchens, large electricals and flooring – performed strongly as customers choose to improve their homes instead of moving.