British company invests in ‘touchpoints’ and app
John Lewis announced that 74% of their first-half sales took place online as shoppers shifted to buying via their app having invested in ‘touchpoints’ for collections and returns.
Up to three-quarters of the retail giant’s sales were via online in the first half of its financial year, which is an increase from 40% before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.
24% of its online sales are now via its app, and it is to trial video-on-demand shopping, the British firm added.
The fast shift online came as the department store’s overall sales grew by 12% in the first half of last year, compared to the same time last year, and by 13% on a like-for-like (LFL) basis that strips out the effect of store openings and closures. Sales were 1% ahead on the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, and by 11% LFL – as the retailer makes slightly more sales from eight fewer stores than it had in 2019.
John Lewis Partnership chairman Sharon White, said: White says: “We have begun the financial year with profits recovering, ahead of both last year and expectations set at our year end results.
“Traditionally, our profits are skewed to the second half of the year because of the importance of Christmas, especially in John Lewis. As we look ahead, there is significant uncertainty. Like the whole of retail, we are managing global supply chain challenges and labour shortages. We are seeing inflationary pressures, which we expect to persist.
“We are taking a raft of measures to mitigate these risks and deliver Christmas for our customers. These include a successful campaign to recruit drivers, offering competitive salaries and benefits, recruiting 7,000 temporary seasonal roles and booking additional freight to make sure John Lewis Christmas products arrive on time.
“Given the back ended nature of our trading year, we do not generally provide an outlook. And this year we face additional uncertainty. Even with the success of the vaccination programme the course of the pandemic this winter is hard to call.”
The news comes as the company trialled ‘touchpoints’, up to 1,026 locations where shoppers are able to buy or collect their items – including 34 John Lewis shops and 327 Waitrose supermarkets.