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John Lewis reports bumper Christmas trading period online

06 January 2015 - 09:29 by Graham Miller

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December 25th was a big day for John Lewis, in spite of the fact that its high street stores across the UK were invariably closed.

The availability of safe shopping online meant that its customers spent more online on Christmas Day 2014 than in any previous year, with orders up by 19 per cent.

Company spokesperson, Mark Lewis, said that the peak period for online shopping on December 25th was 9pm, which coincided with the airing of the festive episode of ITV’s hit period drama, Downton Abbey. People were using their smartphones and tablets to buy products while simultaneously watching the show, or indeed while being forced to sit through it with friends and relatives.

Mr Lewis also said that more people were ordering online, then choosing to collect the products at a bricks and mortar outlet, with 30 per cent more people doing so during the festive season of 2014 than did over the same period in 2013.

John Lewis’ impressive e-commerce performance was understandably tempered by a fall in sales at its high street outlets of 1.4 per cent. And, in fact, the rise of Black Friday meant that consumer spending was more concentrated in the run-up to Christmas, with people committing to fewer sales during the festivities themselves as a result.

Shopping habits are no doubt shifting significantly, both due to the availability of e-commerce services and because retailers are creating new events, which are designed to drum up interest and boost sales over short periods.

Supermarket chain, Waitrose, reported an 11 per cent rise in the sale of turkeys this Christmas, while Champagne sales were boosted by 14 per cent. So people were clearly in the mood to celebrate in a fairly traditional fashion over Christmas.