UK department store chain John Lewis today said its out-of-town stores suffered most in a sharp sales fall last week.
The group said sales fell 8.3% during the week to June 28 compared to prior year, led by hefty declines for home and electrical goods.
In a signal that rising fuel costs were also having an impact on trade, John Lewis said its out-of-town stores – such as Bluewater in Kent and Brent Cross in North London – fared the worst in terms of sales.
Bluewater’s sales dropped nearly 25% during the week, with Brent Cross posting a 17% decline.
“There is no doubt that trade in our shops proved challenging when compared to exceptional results last year,” commercial director Phil Hullah said.