Twitter coverage boosts John Lewis Christmas message

John Lewis has reported that sales in the week to Saturday 16 November surpassed £100 million, with the department store chain's Christmas marketing campaign reportedly proving a success.

In a statement released yesterday, the business said that it is the earliest it has reached this trading landmark in any year to date.

The company released its Christmas marketing campaign earlier this month, and retail director Andrew Murphy said that it has created a "real festive buzz". As well as a TV ad featuring an animated animal story, the retailer launched separate Twitter accounts for two of the marketing campaign's main characters – the hare and the bear.

In-store children's activities have also been launched based on the story detailed in this year's advertisement.

To date, @JohnLewisBear and @JohnLewisHare have gained 6,854 and 6,720 followers on Twitter respectively. In addition, the background song for the advert – a Lily Allen version of Keane's Somewhere Only We Know – is also performing well in the download charts.

Meanwhile, Johnlewis.com reported a strong week, with sales up 23.7% on last year and accounting for 31% of total group sales over the seven-day period. John Lewis recently predicted that 2013 will be the first official mobile Christmas, and the retailer is expecting mobile traffic to overtake desktop traffic at 5pm on Christmas Day this year.

Commenting on last week's performance, Murphy said: "All directorates have put in an impressive performance and the online share result is a great testament to the strength of our omnichannel model.

"In our shops, 11 branches put on double digit increases on last year, with the addition of fashion to High Wycombe continuing to delight customers. Both Oxford Street and Peter Jones delivered solid performances, showing Christmas has really arrived in the capital.

"The launch of our advert has resulted in a real festive buzz – Lily Allen is currently No.2 in the iTunes chart and we have brought the story of the bear and the hare to life for customers by installing caves in eleven of our shops so that children can have their photograph taken with cut-outs of the advert's stars."

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