Click and collect has outstripped home delivery among John Lewis customers, the retailer has announced in its latest set of financial results.
More than half (54%) of online orders were diverted to stores for pick up, in the year ending January 2015, representing a growth in click and collect orders of 47% compared to the previous year.
Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of John Lewis Partnership, said: “The investments made over many years in systems, logistics and IT infrastructure combined to enable John Lewis to make more deliveries via Click and Collect than to customers’ homes for the first time. John Lewis was able to fulfil over 6.4m orders over the year with 98.7% of parcels in store the following day.”
John Lewis Partnership posted gross sales of £10.9bn in the 53 weeks period ending 31 January, which is 7.6% up compared to the same period last year, or 5.7% over the comparable 52-week period. Pre-tax profits before exceptional items came in at £342.7m, 9% down on the same time last year, or 10.5% over the 52 weeks. Bottom-line pre-tax profits came in at £350.6m, up by 6.5%, or 4.7% over 52 weeks.
As reported by eDelivery’s sister title InternetRetailing, Waitrose gross sales of £6.5bn were 6.5% ahead of last year (4.6%, 52 weeks) but operating profits of £237.4m were down by 23.4% (24.4%, 52 weeks) on last year. Customer numbers rose by 6%.
Across multichannel measures, Waitrose saw online grocery sales rise by 31.2%, with average order values up by 5%.
Operating profit at Waitrose, said Mayfield, had been “held back by three factors: the impact of trading in a highly competitive and deflationary market; a significantly higher level of investment in the year; and the impact of one-off items, including property impairments and onerous leases.”
The most visible effect of the investment, said the partnership report, comes in the form of more than 4,000 iPads that it says work both to improve customer service and gives branches easier access to information. Elsewhere, some 5.4m customers now have a Waitrose card, and 68% of sales are made to cardholders. Investment has also started on Waitrose’s first national distribution centre.