January 4, 2017 / 11:17 AM / 8 months ago

John Lewis posts strong sales growth in pre-Christmas week

Shoppers pass a branch of John Lewis in London, Britain, September 15, 2016.Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - John Lewis [JLP.UL] [JLPLC.UL], Britain's biggest department store chain, said sales in the week before Christmas soared 36 percent as shoppers splurged on household items and the figures were boosted by two extra trading days compared to the same period in 2015.

That contrasted with a 9.4 percent drop in department store sales in the following week ended Dec. 31, when there were fewer trading days due to the timing of public holidays.

The employee-owned firm reported similar trends at its upmarket grocery chain Waitrose, with sales in the week to Dec. 24, up 31.1 percent, on strong demand for sparkling wine and party food, while they fell 12.5 percent in the week to Dec. 31.

Reporting by Sarah Young, editing by Paul Sandle

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