John Lewis reports most successful sales day in history on Black Friday

Black Friday, which fell on November24, also saw the group record its busiest ever hour for online trading

The John Lewis Partnership (Department Store in the U.K.) celebrated its most successful sales day in history on Black Friday 2017, helping the retailer achieve its best ever week.

On Thursday, January 11, 2018, the group said that Black Friday, which fell on 24 November last year, also saw the retailer record its busiest ever hour for online trading.

The rest of the Christmas period was similarly strong for John Lewis, with sales in the six weeks ending 30 December across the whole partnership – which includes the department stores as well as Waitrose – hitting GBP 1.96 billion, marking a 2.5 % rise compared to the same period in 2016.

Gross sales, excluding fuel, at Waitrose hit GBP 928 million, representing a 1.4 % increase on 2016. Like-for-like sales, which compare the performance of exactly the same stores, rose 1.5 %.

“We focused on our differentiated product offering, attention to service and strong value proposition, underpinned by our ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ promise,” said Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership.

Gross sales across the partnership were just over GBP 1 billion, up 3.6 % from the previous year and up 3.1 % on a like-for-like basis, but Sir Charlie also sounded a cautious note about the months ahead.

“The pressure on margin seen in the first half of the year has intensified because of our choice to maintain competitive prices, despite higher costs mainly due to the weaker exchange rate,” he said. “This will negatively affect full-year financial results as indicated previously.”

He said that for the coming financial year, he expects trading to be “volatile due to the economic environment” and anticipates that “competitive intensity will continue, driven by the structural changes taking place in the retail industry”.

The partnership is due to report full year results for the financial year ending on January 27 on  March 8, 2018.