UK's John Lewis says online sales driving growth

LONDON Sun Dec 8, 2013 2:13pm GMT

Workers, known as partners at the John Lewis Partnership, celebrate as their annual profit related bonus is announced by the manager, at their flagship Oxford Street store in central London March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Workers, known as partners at the John Lewis Partnership, celebrate as their annual profit related bonus is announced by the manager, at their flagship Oxford Street store in central London March 7, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's biggest department store group John Lewis posted a 1.8 percent year-on-year rise in sales to 144.5 million pounds ($236.3 million) in the week to December 7, helped by another record week for its online business.

The firm said online sales rose 22 percent compared to the same week last year - a second consecutive week in which the site has taken over a third of overall trade.

The overall increase was down on the previous week's year-on-year growth of 18.4 percent, which benefited from "Black Friday" discounts.

The 149-year-old firm has been winning market share from high-street rivals in recent years due to its strong online offering, modern stores and a more affluent customer base. Last Christmas it reported record sales, while rivals, such as Marks & Spencer endured poor trading in a tough market. ($1 = 0.6115 British pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Andrew Roche)

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