John Lewis's Christmas sales were dramatically lifted by Black Friday

The department store took more cash in late November than the week including Christmas and boxing day.

Credit: Karen Roe/Flickr
Credit: Karen Roe/Flickr

Now the manic Christmas period is over, it's time for retailers to look back, take stock and reflect on whether they've made a decent job of it. This year MT expects that many will find a pattern not seen before, as John Lewis discovered.

Buoyed by its ubiquitous Monty the Penguin adverts John Lewis enjoyed a bumper Christmas period overall, with sales in the five weeks to December 27th up 5.8% on last year to £777m. Yet in the week of Christmas itself, typically the biggest of the year, itself things weren't so rosy – sales actually declined by 1.4%.

In fact, sales peaked in late November thanks to the US-exported consumer orgy that is Black Friday. This helped create John Lewis's best trading week ever, with up 21.8% on the previous year, largely thanks to sales of ipads, as well as more conventionally John Lewis goods like handbags, Nespresso machines and cashmere.

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