John Lewis Reports Flat Sales as Snow Deters Christmas Shoppers

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- John Lewis Partnership Plc said sales at its U.K. department store chain stopped growing this week as snowy weather deterred shoppers from Christmas spending.

Sales from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 at stores open at last a year were “level” with the same period last year, the retailer said in a statement today, compared with the 8.8 percent increase for the week ending Nov. 27.

John Lewis, considered a bellwether for British retail performance, said electrical and home technology products such as televisions were the big sellers, along with hats, gloves and scarves. The earliest widespread snowfall in Britain since 1993 has frozen over roads, disrupting traffic, with freezing weather likely to last until at least Dec. 8, according to the British Weather Service.

“The snow has impacted both footfall and sales in shops where the weather has been particularly poor,” Nat Wakely, director for selling operations, said in the statement. “There has been some compensation in our multichannel proposition” with the retailer’s website recording 62 percent growth

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Shannon in London at sshannon4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net.