The John Lewis Partnership, which is regarded as a barometer of British retailing, today reported a further fall in weekly sales.
The renowned employee-owned chain said department store sales grew 1.4% to £49.8 million in the week to 12 February – it represented the fourth consecutive week of slow sales following the VAT hike on 4 January.
It follows a 1.2% gain in the previous week and two declines in the last two weeks of January.
Meanwhile, sales at its Waitrose supermarket chain grew 5.4% to £96.6 million in the week to 12 February – boosted by purchases for Valentine’s Day.
The luxury chain is one of the UK’s fastest growing supermarkets and is in the midst of a major expansion programme.