John Lewis, Britain’s biggest department store group, said its sales rose 2.6 percent year-on-year in the week to Nov. 21, though the firm noted shoppers were planning ahead for “Black Friday” Nov. 27 discounts. The employee-owned firm said sales totaled 117.2 million pounds ($176.7 million).
“Demand for televisions and computers were lower during the week with customers anticipating Black Friday offers,” said David Barford, director of selling for London & South. John Lewis is the only major British retailer to publish weekly sales data, providing the most up-to-date snapshot of shopper health.
Britons’ spending power has benefited over the past year from a pick-up in earnings when inflation is hovering around zero and interest rates are still at record lows. But in November, British retail sales grew at the slowest rate in nine months, according to a Confederation of British Industry survey on Tuesday, which partly reflected the impact of the mild weather on clothing sales.