DEPARTMENT store chain John Lewis saw sports sales take the gold last week as customers continued to be inspired by the London 2012 Olympics.
The employee-owned group said sport sales, including clothing and equipment, surged 178% in the week to August 11, helping total sales jump 14.9% to £60.75m.
John Lewis, which is an Olympic sponsor, said the final week of the Games and closing weekend celebrations “certainly played a part in our success“ as some 18 branches reported sales growth.
And the company allayed fears that the event had turned central London into a ghost town as it revealed an 18.9% surge in its Oxford Street store and a 5.9% increase in its Peter Jones store in Sloane Square.
The encouraging figures from John Lewis come after official data yesterday showed a better-than-expected performance from the retail sector in July, with flat sales volumes, excluding fuel, against City expectations for a 0.2% fall.
The period covered the first two days of the Olympics, but the ONS said this had no noticeable impact on sales.
Likewise, John Lewis has previously raised fears that the Olympic boost was going to be a damp squib for retailers when sales in the run up to the event fell short.
But the last two weeks sales figures have been strong for the group, with London 2012 merchandise and sports clothing and equipment leading the way. Electrical and home technology sales were strong in the week to August 11, up 22.2%, driven by telecoms, up 149%, while large electricals, such as TVs, were ahead 16%.
Fashion sales were 18.9% higher, with babywear up 147%, men’s branded casualwear up 30% and womenswear label JL & Weekend up 28%. Home products delivered a 7% increase uplift on last year.
Meanwhile, supermarket Waitrose, owned by the John Lewis Partnership, said Team GB and the sunny weather inspired a 12% increase in sales as the feelgood factor swept the nation.
Among the sales highlights were champagne, which saw a 35% uplift on the same time last year.
The final week of the Games and closing weekend celebrations “certainly played a part in our success“