John Lewis reports ‘outstanding’ online sales growth

John Lewis has reported an increase of over a third in online sales, as major retailers report trading performances after their busiest shopping period.

The company last week gave a nod to the “excellent behind-the-scenes” support from IT and operations in helping to deliver high levels of customer service.

“Online sales growth was an outstanding 34.4 percent ahead of last year,” Barry Matheson, John Lewis’ director of retail services said in the company’s sales results for the week to 4 January 2014.

“Our performance over the peak trading weeks has been strong, with many commentators attributing that to our omni-channel strategy, building on the 61.8 percent increase in Click & Collect orders we saw over our peak trading period.”

It was not just John Lewis’ department store that fared well online. Like Sainsbury’s and Tesco, the John Lewis Partnership’s groceries arm, Waitrose, saw a 33.4 percent increase in online grocery sales in the five-week festive period, which helped to increase total sales across the business by 5.4 percent, resulting in its “most successful Christmas on record”. This is despite a technical glitch that forced the supermarket to cancel hundreds of online deliveries just before Christmas.

In its post-Christmas trading statement last week, John Lewis said that its online sales for the five weeks were 22.6 percent up on last year, with accounting for 31.8 percent of the total John Lewis business.

As with M&S, John Lewis reported a significant increase in access to its website from mobile devices, overtaking traffic from PCs.

John Lewis ran a number of technological trials over Christmas, including mapping its flagship London Oxford street store on Google Street View.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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