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John Lewis reports sales down 6.6% compared to same week last year

Weekly sales figures from John Lewis may have given the retail sector more hope than ever before but there are concerns that the reversal of a double digit sales reduction the week before last may only be a temporary reprieve. While there will no doubt have been some pick up due to the 2.5% reduction in VAT we have also seen a number of high-profile sales at stores such as John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Tesco to name a few.

In the run up to the vital Christmas period there appears to be substantial money in consumer's pockets but they are demanding ever greater reductions with many willing to wait until the very last minute before grabbing their bargains. We will see more and more 20% and 25% discount days over the coming weeks as the retail sector becomes ever more desperate to grab and retain new business. Many experts are predicting we will see a similar amount of money spent this Christmas as we saw in 2007 but spending patterns between the off-line and online arena look to have changed.

Online purchases are set to mushroom over the next few years possibly at the expense of many off-line retailers with limited Internet exposure.

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