March 6, 2018 / 11:36 AM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 1-Sales at UK's John Lewis mauled by Beast from the East

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    LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) - The snow storms that blasted
Britain last week also battered department store chain John
Lewis                   , with weekly sales slumping more than
14 percent, it said on Tuesday.
    The cold snap, which had arrived from Siberia and was dubbed
the the Beast from the East, hit transport networks, closed
thousands of schools and deterred shoppers from venturing out.

    Employee-owned John Lewis is the only major British retailer
to update on weekly sales, providing the most up to date
snapshot of consumer behaviour.
    It said that department store sales in the week to March 3
were down 14.4 percent year on year. Fashion sales tumbled by
18.8 percent and homewares slid by 17.2 percent.
    While sales in the electricals and home technology category
were down 6.3 percent, heating products provided the one bright
spot with a 265 percent sales jump.
    "Our partners across the network made an incredible effort
to support trading after snowy weather across the UK impacted
our sales and disrupted some of our operations," said John Lewis
buying director Christine Kasoulis.
    At the group's Waitrose supermarket business, sales
increased by 0.7 percent as customers sought warming food and
drink. Canned soup sales leapt by 50 percent.
    John Lewis Partnership is scheduled to publish 2017-18
results on Thursday.

                  Week to March   5 weeks to March 3
 Total sales      -5.1 pct        0.2 pct
 Dept stores      -14.4 pct       -2.8 pct
 Food stores      0.7 pct         2.1 pct
 (Reporting by James Davey
Editing by David Goodman)
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