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By
Reuters
Published
Jul 2, 2010
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John Lewis fashion sales up 15.3 percent

By
Reuters
Published
Jul 2, 2010

July 2 - British retailer John Lewis Partnership playing against the odds, on Friday recorded a boost in the department stores' total sales, notably in the fashion lines.

"This week we had to compete with warm weather across the country and very hot conditions in the south as we moved towards the weekend."

"The odds were not only stacked against us with the weather, but with the World Cup in full swing, the start of Wimbledon and -- as we moved into the weekend -- events across the country, customers were kept busy. However, despite this we finished the week 13 percent up against last year," John Lewis said of the department stores outcome.

The employee-owned firm, traditionally seen as a bellwether of the UK retail sector, but which has outperformed competitors for over a year, said sales at its 28 department stores and one "at home" store increased 13.0 percent to 52.5 million pounds ($78.59 million) in the week to June 19.

Fashion sales rose 15.3 percent, with homewares sales up 14.1 percent and sales in the electricals and home technology category up 7.9 percent.

"Two key factors played a part last week: Father's Day and matching our competitors' sales under (the) 'Never Knowingly Undersold' (pledge)," said Nat Wakely, director, selling operations.

UK retailers are generally emerging from a deep recession but fear steps, such as higher taxes, to rein in a record government deficit will hit spending in the months ahead.

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