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By
Reuters
Published
Jul 5, 2016
Reading time
2 minutes
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Retailer John Lewis's sales growth slowed after Brexit vote

By
Reuters
Published
Jul 5, 2016

Sales growth at British retailer John Lewis's department store chain slowed in the week to July 2 - the week following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.


Photo: John Lewis


As the only British retailer to publish weekly sales data it provides the most up-to-date snapshot of shopping behaviour after the June 23 referendum, though the data is clouded by the impact of the summer sale and year-on-year weather comparisons.

The employee-owned John Lewis Partnership owns Britain's biggest department store chain as well as the upmarket Waitrose supermarket chain.

The firm said on Tuesday that its department store sales in the last week were up 2.1 percent on a year ago at 90.8 million pounds, having increased 7.3 percent in the previous week when it started its summer sale a week earlier than last year.

"Summer Clearance continued to attract customers into John Lewis (department store) shops and the cooler weather also played its part, with last week competing with 35C temperatures during the same week in 2015," the firm said, making no mention of the referendum result in its brief commentary.

Waitrose sales fell 2.8 percent on a year ago over the week, having been down 0.7 percent in the previous week.

John Lewis said a year on year decrease was expected at Waitrose as the equivalent week was one of the sunniest of 2015 and was ​also a time of ​significant national marketing activity.

A survey published on Thursday showed confidence among British consumers fell sharply in the days after the referendum.

The YouGov/CEBR Consumer Confidence Index, which measures people's economic sentiment on a daily basis, slumped to its lowest level since May 2013, when Britain's economy was just starting to emerge from its post-financial crisis sluggishness.

While Britain's FTSE 100 index of blue chip stocks has recovered from its post-Brexit slump, given a bias to overseas earners, UK-focused stocks such as general retailers are still significantly down, reflecting the possible impact of the current economic and political uncertainty on consumer confidence and spending.

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