Next and John Lewis report falls in peak season sales

As ever there were some winners and some losers in online retail over Christmas. So far we have heard of falls in overall sales for fashion retailer Next (but a boost in online sales) while John Lewis & Partners suffered a dip. 

Online sales at Next surged by 15.2% between 28 October and 29 December, partially offsetting store sales’ dip by 9.2%. Next CEO Lord Wolfson commented, “People are maybe a little bit more cautious, given the uncertainties around Brexit. But I think that’s as strong as you can put it”.

John Lewis & Partners meanwhile saw an overall fall in sales of 4.1% over the period. Bérangère Michel, partner and operations director at the retailer said: “Fashion sales were up by 5.8%, and last minute Christmas shopping saw sales of beauty up 36%, jewellery up 27% and women’s nightwear up 22%.”

Brexit is consistently blamed by retailers for causing cautiousness among shoppers. There are trends of an overall move from high street shopping to online retail though, and as ever there will be winners and losers as things move forward. John Lewis & Partners and Next both have strong online operations. It remains to be seen how the overall retail landscape succeeded or lost over the peak season.


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