Waitrose basks in heat but John Lewis is in a sweat as sales fall


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The Independent Online

Waitrose today toasted booming sales, as shoppers took advantage of the heatwave and stocked up on champagne, sausages and charcoal for alfresco dining.

However, the sunny weather — plus people being glued to their TVs watching the Ashes and Wimbledon — saw visitor numbers at John Lewis Partnership’s department stores fall. John Lewis said revenue tanked by 8.7 per cent to £64.2 million over the week to July 13 — one of its worst performances this year.

Director Maggie Porteous said the balmy weather, as well as the end of the Wimbledon tournament and England’s win in the Ashes cricket last week, had hit sales.

But Waitrose was on fire and posted sales up by 16.4 per cent to £123.5 million, with its “best-ever week” for barbecue meat and charcoal takings soaring by 720 per cent.

The figures from Waitrose will have a positive read-across  for the listed supermarkets, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons, although investors in Debenhams are likely to be less bullish about the continuing heatwave,  as warm weather typically hits visitor numbers to department stores.