Black Friday best week ever for John Lewis with £179.1m in sales

British upmarket chain of department stores John Lewis said on Tuesday that Black Friday helped it deliver its best week of sales ever in its 150-year trading history. Overall sales were 21.8% higher than in the same week last year, while online sales were 42.2% up.

Several John Lewis stores posted record takings on Black Friday, including Oxford Street, Liverpool, York, Tamworth and Ipswich.

On Black Friday week, John Lewis posted sales of £179.1 million, which was 58% higher than the preceding week. It beat last year week before Christmas’ record of £164.4 million.

As far as John Lewis was concerned, Black Friday started on the stroke of midnight as customers logged on early to, which registered a 300% rise in traffic during the early hours.

Between midnight and 8am, seventy percent of its online traffic came from tablets and smartphones.

Its physical shops opened at 8am on Black Friday, for the first time ever. From 8am to 9am nearly 13,000 orders were placed online.

John Lewis Black Friday

For a company that knew nothing about Black Friday a couple of years ago, John Lewis adapted incredibly well.

At its distributions centers nationwide, the company’s teams picked and packed 54% more online parcels on Black Friday compared to the same day last year. Business at its distribution centers was 87% higher on Saturday than the same Saturday in 2013, as packers dealt with Friday’s massive backlog.

Sales of electrical goods were 40.9% up on last year, driven principally by hundreds of Black Friday discounts. Sales of tablets and computers were 127% up, vision rose by 131%, and small electrical by 66%.

Fashion sales on Black Friday, year-on-year, grew by a more moderate 16.7%, but hit its biggest one day sale ever.

John Lewis’ Operations Director, Dino Rocos, said:

“There was clearly huge customer anticipation of Black Friday this year and we knew we had high expectations to meet, both in terms of the products we had on offer through our Never Knowingly Undersold commitment, and in ensuring that we fulfilled customer orders as promised.”

“While the sales figures are attention-grabbing, for me our biggest achievement was delivering an operation which ran like clockwork. We picked and packed 87% more online parcels on Saturday than we did last year, and to have delivered successfully on customer expectation is a testament to the work of our Partners both on Black Friday itself and in our forward-planning. Our website coped well with exceptional demand whilst the atmosphere in our shops remained both seasonal and calm with customers enjoying extended opening hours and the great offers to be had.”

On Black Friday, John Lewis sold one tablet per second throughout the day, one Samsung UE40H6400 TV every minute, and one De’Longhi Prima Donna S coffee machine every 3.5 minutes.