Onesie boost for John Lewis at Bluewater
John Lewis at Bluewater
has enjoyed record sales at Bluewater
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
Onesies, tablet computers and French perfume have been the
must-haves at John Lewis Bluewater this Christmas as the store
chain enjoys record sales with its clicks and mortar formula.
The store has sold nearly 300 onesies, which have boosted
nightwear sales by 7% on last year.
"Onesies have definitely been a phenomenon with men and
particularly the ladies," said Katharine Pawlyn, operations manager
in the fashion department. "But we've still got some in stock so
it's not to late to buy a onesie."
The food hall has sold 11,000 bags of chocolate coins and 4,000
Tablet computers such as iPads, Microsoft Surface and
one designed for children were also selling well.
As December 25 came closer, it was evident men were
increasingly visiting the perfume department - which was selling a
bottle of Chanel every seven minutes.
Karen Lord, the store's managing director, said despite
recession it was on course for a record-breaking Christmas and New
Year sale (or clearance) period.
"We are on target for a really good Christmas. I anticipate we
will finish the year ahead of last year by one or so per cent."
Christmas shoppers have
been flooding Bluewater
John Lewis has bucked the trends found by other stores hit by a
shift to online shopping. While online sales have increased, many
customers collect in-store and Ms Lord said there had been no
reduction in people visiting the store.
But she had noticed new spending patterns. "Our customers are
being more careful and selective," she said. "They want good value
for money, quality and good service."
As for 2013, Ms Lord was cautiously optimistic. "It's not
suddenly going to get easier for our customers. They will continue
to demand - quite rightly - all the things they expect from us but
I think they will still be careful in terms of how they spend their
On the jobs front, John Lewis Bluewater is to retain up to 30
staff from the 200 hired as temps for the festive period, boosting
workforce numbers to 1,300.
Meanwhile, men have been rated the best Christmas shoppers at
Bluewater. A survey found that 30% of men buy all their shopping in
one swoop, in less time and more decisively than women.