John Lewis ends year on a high as sales are boosted by last-minute Christmas shopping

 
James Warrington
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The strong sales will be a boost for John Lewis amid investor fears over disappointing Christmas trading across the retail sector (Source: Getty)

John Lewis reported a rise in sales during the last week of the year as shoppers rushed to buy last-minute Christmas gifts and cash in on sales.


Total sales for the the department store chain were up 4.5 per cent for the week ending 29 December, compared with the same period last year.

The company said fashion sales were up almost 11 per cent, while beauty, wellbeing and leisure soared over 25 per cent.

Barry Matheson, head of John Lewis shop trade for Scotland and the north of England, said the retailer enjoyed “very strong sales on Christmas Eve and a confident start to clearance sales both online and in shops.”

The strong sales will be a boost for John Lewis amid investor fears over disappointing Christmas trading across the retail sector.


But the department store has been forced to slash prices as it scrambles to match discounts offered by its competitors.

The price-matching promotions have taken their toll on the chain, which reported a 99 per cent fall in profits in September.

John Lewis has experienced volatile trading over recent weeks, with sales rebounding in the run-up to Christmas after a decline in early December.

The figures come as investors brace for trading updates from major retailers. Next, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer are among the companies due to publish results from the crucial Christmas period in the coming weeks.