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Online shopping aids John Lewis with profitability

14 September 2012 - 12:41 by Graham Miller

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The John Lewis Partnership experienced something of a boom in profits during the first half of 2012, according to new figures published by the retail group.

This success is in part being attributed to the fact that its sales made by safe shopping online, increased impressively over the past 12 months.

It saw profits jump by almost 60 per cent and is now able to boast that 24 per cent of all its sales are channelled through its e-commerce service, rather than the traditional bricks and mortar store setting.

The biggest growth registered came from the number of people who are now using its click and collect service, which allows them to place orders via safe shopping online and then pick up their purchases from a local John Lewis store.

There was a 114 per cent increase in click and collect usage during the first half of the year at John Lewis, while Waitrose saw 34% of its total sales come from those who ordered online and then chose to collect later.

While Waitrose is still continuing to expand the number of outlets in which it operates, its ability to do so seems to be increasingly driven by the success of its e-commerce ventures.

Group spokesperson, Charlie Mayfield, said that a number of events throughout the year had helped the John Lewis Partnership to increase its sales and improve its share of various markets. He cited the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics as being particularly important, while also stating that the increase in VAT instigated last year, meant that there was plenty of room for improvement in terms of sales in 2012.

Mr Mayfield singled out investments in multichannel services and e-commerce, as being key to the improved profits within the retailer this year.