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Monty and online drive John Lewis Christmas sales

Department store chain John Lewis has delivered a 4.8 per cent rise in like-for-like sales across the five weeks to Christmas, hitting £777m on the back of strong online growth and a successful advertising campaign starring Monty the penguin.

Monty, John Lewis

In-store sales were actually flat over the period but this was offset by a double digit rise in online sales of 19 per cent. Click and Collect is proving particularly popular with shoppers with more now opting to pick up in-store than home delivery.

The arrival of Black Friday to these shores also boosted the retailers bottom line as the 28 November sales bonanza generated the single biggest sales week in 150 years for the store.

Commenting on the numbers John Lewis’ managing director Andy Street said: "This year confirmed the new shape of trade for Christmas, with an early peak at the end of November driven by Black Friday and last minute gift buying.

“The role of the shop is absolutely critical in providing the online sales.”

John Lewis is preparing a major store expansion programme across the UK, taking its estate from 42 to 65 locations with increased emphasis on cities such as Birmingham, Leeds and Oxford.