Profits soar at Welwyn Garden City department store

PROFITS at John Lewis have risen to almost the same levels as before the recession, new figures out today (Thursday) reveal.

As reported in the Welwyn Hatfield Times this week, the retail giant, which has a store in WGC, was expected to announce strong sales figures for the first half of the year when it released its interim financial statement this morning.

Gross sales were up �175.8m to �1.4bn, a rise of 14.5 per cent, while operating profits rose to �35.9m – up 77 per cent from the same time last year, when it stood at �20.9m.

The profits are closer to those recorded in September 2008, when John Lewis department stores made �40m during the first half of 2008, before the country was plunged into recession.

In WGC, the warm summer weather and the football World Cup tournament in June and July helped sales of John Lewis bikinis, Havaiana flip flops and Union Jack cushions soar, while at the store’s Place to Eat restaurant, customers consumed 18,000 bowls of soup, 16,000 prawn rolls and 11,000 pots of tea in the last six months.

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A �2m refurbishment of the store’s womenswear section is also believed to have contributed to the boom.

Overall the John Lewis Partnership – which comprises of John Lewis department stores and Waitrose supermarkets – recorded gross sales of �3.8bn, with a profit of �145m for the first half of 2010.

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