Online sales boost Waitrose and John Lewis

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Volumes at are almost triple the level than they were last year, as the combination of the shift from Ocado and customers buying more groceries online during lockdown boosted the John Lewis Partnership.

Like-for-like sales at Waitrose during the six months ending 25 July, were up almost 10% on last year, with delivering an average of 170,000 weekly orders, up from around 60,000 before the pandemic. The average basket size was four times bigger for home deliveries than in store said chairman Sharon White.

Online sales at were up 73%, but overall sales at the retailer were down 10% on last year.

It said that as stores reopened, sales were down around 30% on last year, with stores in retail parks down around 15% and London stores were down approximately 40%. White said that home working had had a big impact on what people were buying with the volume mix seeing more TVs and tablets sold and fewer trousers and trainers.

Online now accounts for more than 60% of sales at John Lewis, up from 40% before the pandemic. As a result of this pronounced shift to digital, said White, the business was having to reassess how much shops “contribute to whether our customers buy online with us or not”.

“Before the crisis we believed that shops contributed around £6 of every £10 spent online. We now think that figure is, on average, around £3,” she said.

Overall the Partnership made a loss of £55 million in the six month period, ahead of expectations in April.



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