John Lewis' gross sales have grown strongly throughout the past year, increasing by 7.5% in total and passing the £4b mark for the first time, and total like-for-like sales grew by 6.4%. Operating profit before restructuring costs was up 11.0% to £240.5m.
Sales growth was shared across the categories, with Home making up 2.3%. Significant progress in John Lewis' ambition to be the UK's largest home retailer was made through new initiatives such as Any Shape, Any Fabric and the maturation of its HOUSE range.
Omni-channel capability and innovation has been key to John Lewis' success. It has seen growth in both shops and online, with shops significantly outperforming the high street and johnlewis.com up 19.2% to £1.1bn, achieved while launching a new web platform in the first half. Click & collect has grown strongly, up 57%, with the convenience of being able to pick up from Waitrose being particularly appreciated. Collect+ was also successfully launched in September. Mobile also grew rapidly this year, and visits from phones and tablets now account for 50% of traffic to johnlewis.com.
The brand continued to build the value and trust its customers expect of it through its commitment to be 'Never Knowingly Undersold', and its guarantees were improved further this year through Guaranteed Guarantees, to give a minimum of two years' cover on any electrical item. The my John Lewis membership card was also launched with 500,000 members joining in just four months. The 'The Bear and the Hare' Christmas advertising campaign was also a huge success, with over 12 million views on YouTube.
Behind the scenes, John Lewis has invested significantly in its support infrastructure. Its new £97m distribution centre will begin operations in 2015 alongside its existing Magna Park site in Milton Keynes, further enhancing its fulfilment capability.
Shop developments continue to be a strong focus of the brand's growth strategy. 2013 saw the full refurbishment of its High Wycombe shop, and it has an active pipeline of new sites. In 2013, John Lewis opened an 'at home' shop in Ashford and this year it will open a full line flexible format shop in York, and its smallest shop to date at Heathrow's Terminal 2. It has announced future sites in Birmingham, Leeds, Westfield White City, Oxford, Chelmsford, Horsham, and Basingstoke.
John Lewis continues to exploit new technology, including equipping its partners with transactional tablets, and it is the first major department store to use Google to map the inside of its Oxford Street shop.