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UK high street market boosted by a jump in sales for Next and John Lewis

UK high street market boosted by a jump in sales for Next and John Lewis

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2013-01-03 17:36:46 - UK high street market boosted by a jump in sales for Next and John Lewis

Next and John Lewis announced healthy sales rises over the vital Christmas period in a morale boost for the High Street, with internet shopping proving to be the real winner for both companies.Shops have faced a frosty festive period in terms of business as consumers around the country suffered a lack of funds amid wage freezes and higher bills and prices.John Lewis said its sales in the five weeks to the end of December rose by 13%, with both stores and online doing well. Internet sales growth was especially strong, rising by 44% on last year.John Lewis, which is the UK´s biggest department store chain, said its clearance sales had had a record-breaking first day with sales of £31.7 million.



Overall sales for the five week period were recorded at £645 million.Internet sales now account for around 25% of the company´s sales. "That hour when we opened our clearance website, at 5 o´clock on Christmas Eve, was our single busiest day online, ever," said John Lewis´s managing director, Andy Street.Next, Britain´s No.2 clothing retailer, has forecast full-year profits at the top end of expectations as it reported a rise in sales in the run-up to Christmas. Total sales from 1 November to Christmas Eve rose 3.9% from a year earlier, with online sales up 11.2%.Having reported "disappointing" late-summer sales, the company now expects profits for 2012 to be within £7 million "either side" of £618 million.Strong online sales led the way, with revenues up by 11.2% between November 1 and December 24. Store sales were also better than many City expectations, at 0.8% higher than a year ago.Retailers endured a tough year in 2012, with a number of high profile High Street names going into administration, including Peacocks, Game, Aquascutum, Clinton Cards and Comet.Next managed to buck the trend, with shares in the company up almost 40% in the past year, thanks in large part to strong sales from its online business.For more information on the UK high street market, see the latest research: UK High Street MarketFollow us Twitter @CandMResearch

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