Sales made on mobile devices rise for Argos, John Lewis

John Lewis gains record market share in electricals; mobile sales account for 17 per cent of Argos sales
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High Street chains Argos and John Lewis have seen an increase in the number of customers using mobile devices to browse and buy their products.

Over 40 per cent of John Lewis' web traffic now comes from mobile phones or tablets, while www.johnlewis.com passed the £1bn annual online sales milestone on a rolling 52-week basis, one year ahead of target. 

John Lewis also achieved a record 7.6 per cent market share in electricals and home technology, for the half-year ending July 27th, 2013, and a sales increase of 15.7 per cent.

Argos, meanwhile, said online sales make up 44 per cent of its total sales, up 42 per cent year-on-year. Sales on mobiles grew by 133 per cent to 17 per cent of total Argos sales.

The information was revealed in the retailers' separate financial reports today, where John Lewis posted a like-for-like sales rise of 5.1 per cent during the period, plus a 9.9 per cent rise in operating profit to £50.1 million before restructuring costs. Operating profit overall fell £10.9 million to £34.7 million - a drop of 23.9 per cent.

Argos' total sales rose 2.4 per cent to £889 million during its second financial quarter ending August 31st, 2013. Like-for-like sales increased by 2.7 per cent.

Terry Duddy, Chief Executive of Argos parent company Home Retail Group, commented: "The Group had a good first half driven by a positive sales performance in both businesses. Argos continues to build on its digital leadership with mobile commerce now accounting for 17 per cent of Argos' total sales. At this stage of the financial year, we expect to deliver full year Group benchmark profit in line with current market expectations but, as always, the outcome will depend upon Argos' peak trading period."

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of John Lewis Partnership, said: "I am particularly pleased that both Waitrose and John Lewis again increased their market shares significantly during the first half. Year-on-year, we grew our customer numbers by six per cent.

We have made further encouraging progress in what I referred to in March as our "quiet revolution" – the investment and restructuring in areas of our retail operations, supply chain, IT and support functions. Looking ahead, I'm encouraged by progress this year and am confident of the plans we have in place for Christmas. Despite a strong second half last year, both during the Olympics and at Christmas, I expect us to trade positively in the second half."

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