John Lewis has reported a 45% increase in sales of e-readers over the Christmas period, compared to the same time last year, with "explosive growth" in sales of new tablet products.
Sales of electrical goods and home technology, including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Apple e-readers and tablets, were up by 30.9% overall at the retailer over the five weeks to 29th December 2012, according to the company's financial results, issued this week.
Adam Brown, buyer for tablets and telecoms at John Lewis, told The Bookseller: "Over the Christmas period we saw real growth in e-reader sales, achieving a sales increase of 45% versus last year. This was despite the continued explosive growth we saw in new tablet products as the key gifting items this year. We saw strong interest in the new Nook e-readers, particularly their innovative Simple Touch with GlowLight product which exceeded expectations."
John Lewis is Barnes & Noble's "premier retailer" in the UK for the Nook devices, which launched in the run-up to 2012's festive season.
Managing director Andy Street described the economic climate as "volatile", and said: "I am delighted that John Lewis has delivered record breaking sales figures over the Christmas period and the first five days of clearance . . . The success of our online operation and our pre-eminence as an omni-channel retailer cannot be underestimated. Sales at johnlewis.com broke through the £800m milestone during December."
Over the five week period, total sales were £684.8m, 14.8% up compared with last year, with like-for-like sales up 13%. Online sales for the five weeks up 44.3% on last year, with Johnlewis.com now accounting for a quarter of the total John Lewis business.