Last minute lads
John Lewis, the UK department store and one of the barometers of the health of the High Street, has again reported surprisingly strong sales figures.
In spite of the ongoing fall-out from Bankageddon, John Lewis reported a 1.3 percent increase on last week's healthy sales and is saying that the year-on-year trend is only down 1.8 percent.
A lot of this late bonanza has been attributed to men, with gaming and technology selling well again, as well as the sort of stuff blokes buy their partners like perfume and lingerie.
In a statement published yesterday, John Lewis said it reckons today will be particularly busy. This is based on the evidence of 2003 - the last time Christmas fell on a Thursday - when things seem to have been pretty hectic.
Patrick Lewis, the appropriately named director of retail operations at the store chain, said: 'We are now into the final run-up to Christmas and expect the last few days to be busy ones. We anticipate sales will continue to be fuelled by 'last-minute' gift items such as fragrance and toiletries gift sets."