John Lewis Partnership’s huge investment in loyalty schemes seems to be paying off after the retail group saw a 4.1% rise in sales over the Christmas period to £1.8bn, with a 21.4% hike in online orders.
Overall, online orders made up 40% of total sales for the John Lewis brand, which hit gross sales of £951.3m, up 6.9% compared with last year, and up 5.1% on a like-for-like basis. On Christmas Day alone, the retailer witnessed a 10.7% spike in online orders.
In December John Lewis announced it will be investing over £500m in its digital and data operations as part of a strategy which it hopes will see online sales overtake those in store within just four years.
It held a number of events around the MyJohnLewis loyalty scheme in the run-up to Christmas, which the retailer said had been “well received”, while MyWaitrose customers were offered promotions on wines, beers and spirits.
Waitrose saw gross sales, excluding fuel, rise 1.2% on the same period last year, to £859.8m, although on a like-for-like basis, they were down 1.4%.
However, it was a late spurt which rescued a potentially sticky situation, with record trading reached on December 23 and 24.
Chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said: “Click and collect continued to show the strength of our two brands working together as a proposition for customers, with 35% of John Lewis online orders collected from Waitrose branches. I was particularly pleased to see overall customer numbers increase 5.8% against the same period last year.
“Our performance reflects to a large extent the significant investment we have made in our distribution and IT capability. Despite the fact trade was even more concentrated across a number of very busy shopping days, our operations performed especially well.”
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