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John Lewis announces sharp fall in sales

Often seen as the bellwether of the UK retailing sector, John Lewis has today announced an 8% decline in sales to the four weeks ended the 28th February. However, more worryingly the company also announced a 10.3% drop in the final week of February although the timing of the Easter period has been used as an excuse for these unnerving figures.

While the overall fall in sales of 8% during February is of great concern to the company and the sector as a whole, there have been some areas of the country hit harder with the Edinburgh store reporting an 18% drop in sales in the final week of February, a figure which was only beaten by the High Wycombe, Cheadle and Cribbs Causeway stores. After a relatively quiet period on the news front it looks as though the retail sector in the UK is set for a further downward lurch.

In reality the retail sector has been struggling since late 2008 but alternative news items have taken precedence over the last few weeks. Aside from the fact that the average UK consumer is struggling to pay bills, leaving less money for retail purchases, there has been significant switch over the last few months to the online market.

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