Gadgets and toys lift John Lewis sales 7.6 pct in week

LONDON Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:19pm GMT

Shoppers pass John Lewis department store on Oxford Street in London December 8, 2011. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Shoppers pass John Lewis department store on Oxford Street in London December 8, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

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LONDON (Reuters) - Strong demand for technology products and toys as Christmas presents helped John Lewis JLP.UL, Britain's biggest department store group, lift sales 7.6 percent from a year ago in the week to November 17.

The company said on Sunday that sales in the week totalled 91.7 million pounds ($145.3 million). Rising sales of tablet computers, in particular, drove a 22 percent increase in the electrical and home technology (EHT) category.

"After another successful week's step up to Christmas, our online (up 31 percent year on year) and EHT sales make it clear there is real trust in John Lewis as we approach this critical period," said managing director Andy Street.

John Lewis has been outperforming rivals and the wider market because its generally more affluent customers have been less impacted by Britain's economic downturn.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Cowell)

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