VAT rush boosts John Lewis sales

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John Lewis reported a surge in sales as shoppers rushed to buy household appliances before the VAT hike

Department store chain John Lewis has reported a surge in sales as shoppers rushed to buy household appliances and furniture ahead of last week’s VAT hike.

The company recorded sales of £74.6 million across its department stores in the week to January 8 – an increase of nearly 39% compared with the same week last year.

John Lewis said consumers took advantage of the extra bank holiday on January 3, the day before the Government raised VAT from 17.5% to 20%.

The results come as a flurry of retailers report mixed trading over Christmas and New Year. Last week, John Lewis showed it had shrugged off the severe weather as it posted a 7.6% hike in festive sales.

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