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John Lewis bucks retail gloom as weekly clothes sales jump

Asos’ profit warning on Monday panicked the whole sector but John Lewis’ buoyant weekly figures have given investors some hope

john lewis
Asos, Bonmarche and Superdry have all issued profit warnings over the past week or two

A string of recent profit warnings may have put the skids under the UK retail sector, but department store chain John Lewis bucked the trend today as it reported a jump in weekly fashion sales.

Most of London’s clothes sellers came under pressure yesterday after online fashion giant Asos PLC (LON:ASC) cut its full-year guidance on the back of what some analysts had described as the worst November for retailers in living memory.

READ: Asos slumps as it succumbs to challenging retail market

It hit retail stocks particularly hard as Asos had until then shown no sign of succumbing to the ongoing economic uncertainty and weaker consumer confidence. It also suggested that the bleak trading conditions weren't limited to the struggling high street.

That came only a few days after Bonmarche Holdings PLC (LON:BON) and Superdry PLC (LON:SDRY) issued their own warnings.

John Lewis appears to be suffering from no such problems though, with sales in its fashion division jumping 9.3% last week compared to a year earlier. The chain said sales were boosted by matching the promotions put on by some of its peers.

Overall, John Lewis sales were up 1.8% across the week.

Sales at Waitrose weren’t quite so bright, down 1.9% last week versus a year ago as the supermarket cut back on some of its offers.

Between the two divisions, weekly sales at John Lewis Partnership were flat at £335.6mln (2017: £335.7mln).

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