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John Lewis sales gets Father's Day fillip

By
Reuters
Published
today Jun 25, 2010
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LONDON (Reuters) - Retailer John Lewis JLP.UL posted another week of double-digit sales growth with trade boosted by shoppers splashing out on gifts for Father's Day.

John Lewis

The employee-owned firm, traditionally seen as a bellwether of the 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 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

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.

John Lewis also owns the 228-store Waitrose supermarket chain, where week to June 19 sales rose 10.7 percent to 97.3 million pounds, underscoring its status as one of the UK's fastest growing grocers.

Waitrose said the increase was driven by shoppers dining at home during the World Cup, as well as the continuing 'Delia effect' -- recipe promotions featuring celebrity chef Delia Smith.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Simon Jessop)

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