John Lewis set to grab retail throne from M&S: £4.2bn sales put it on course to be Britain's favourite store

Powerdul sales growth at the John Lewis Partnership has put it on course to steal Marks & Spencer’s crown as Britain’s favourite retailer.

John Lewis, the only retail group to operate a partnership model controlled by staff, is expected to say on Thursday that sales in the first half to the end of July rose 8 per cent over the same period last year to £4.2billion.

Online sales in the second half have already risen by more than 20 per cent. Continued growth means the group could match or  beat M&S’s UK sales of about £9 billion by Christmas.

Retail powerhouse: John Lewis has doubed in size over the past 10 years

Retail powerhouse: John Lewis has doubed in size over the past 10 years

John Lewis has become a retail powerhouse after doubling in size over the past decade by adding new stores, developing a market-leading internet business and from rapid growth at its sister supermarket chain, Waitrose.

But sales at M&S have grown by just 25 per cent in the same period and trade has been lacklustre in recent years.

 

Robert Clark, senior partner at research firm Retail Knowledge Bank, said: ‘John Lewis has been on a roll and, with new stores in the pipeline, it has got lots more to go.

‘The group is growing faster than Marks & Spencer and that is because it has been managed better tactically and strategically.’

The fortunes of John Lewis – and staff annual bonuses – have been transformed under store boss Andy Street and Waitrose managing director Mark Price.

The growth at John Lewis will be a bitter blow to M&S chief executive Marc Bolland, who presents his plans to the City this week.

Bolland and his chairman, Robert Swannell, have pinned their hopes for a recovery on the autumn clothing ranges. They will also be hoping that M&S’s food business, which accounts for about half of sales, will benefit from signs that the economy is improving.

John Lewis set to grab retail throne from M&S;: £4.2bn sales put it on course to be Britain's favourite store

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