TWO leading retailers reported mixed results with the release of their festive trading figures.
John Lewis, which has a store in Barkers Pool, Sheffield city centre, enjoyed an ‘outstanding’ Christmas, while Next, which has a string of stores across South Yorkshire, admitted to “disappointing” sales in November and December.
Department store John Lewis said strong demand for clothes and electrical items helped sales rise 9.3 per cent to £596 million across its 35 stores in the five weeks to December 31. Managing director Andy Street said: “Sales during the four weeks to Christmas Eve were outstanding.”
Elsewhere, last-minute festive purchases failed to prevent sales at Next’s 520 stores from falling 2.7 per cent on a year earlier between August and Christmas Eve, even though comparisons were easier due to the previous year’s Arctic weather.
Chief executive Simon Wolfson described the mood of the consumer as “subdued”.
He said: “I think people are just saving money.
“We have not seen anything like the spending after Christmas that would make up for the lack of spending before Christmas. It’s not that people are spending at a different time, but that they are spending less.”
In Sheffield, Next has stores in Meadowhall and Crystal Peaks shopping centres, Fargate in the city centre and Heeley Retail Park.
It also has stores in Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster, Chesterfield and Cortonwood Retail Park in Brampton, near Barnsley.