John Lewis and Waitrose have attributed an increase in sales and customers to their growing omni-channel offerings.
In their Interim results, John Lewis saw a 25.6% year-on-year increase in online sales, which now account for over 30% of all merchandise sales, while Waitrose recorded £161m gross online services sales.
Most of this success comes from its Click & Collect service, which accounts for more than half of the John Lewis online orders.
Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of John Lewis Partnership, said: “Click & Collect sales have grown by nearly 50% and now make up over half of online orders. In addition, a continued focus on our mobile strategy has led to over half the traffic to johnlewis.com coming from mobile and tablet devices.”
But, although operating profits were up 62% for John Lewis, Waitrose saw a decline of 9%. Mayfield claims this is due to investment in new branches, which will contribute to the growth of its Click and Collect scheme.
Mayfield said: “The majority of our spend continues to be invested in our store base, either on new stores or the refurbishment of existing ones. However, to enhance the agility and robustness of our systems and infrastructure, we almost doubled our capital investment in distribution and IT.”
More on online retail
Recently, supermarket competitor Tesco took the opposite approach, announcing it will be cutting costs from its IT budget to save money.
Last year John Lewis saw a surge in online sales around the Christmas period, with online purchases increasing by 22.6% year-on-year.
Mayfield said: “Looking ahead, as always, much will depend on Christmas trading, plans for which look excellent. While we expect the grocery sector to remain challenging, we anticipate sales at both Waitrose and John Lewis will continue to outperform their respective markets in the second half, reflecting the strength of both brands.”