Shoppers turned out in force over the August bank holiday, enabling department store chain John Lewis to generate sales up 7.1% to £61.1m.

Excluding VAT, the sales increase was 5.2% in the week to September 3.

Electricals and home technology was the star performing category, up 12.5% and driven by communications products which were up 27% year-on-year.

Fashion sales climbed 7.7% over the week while home was up 2.6%.

Sixteen of the retailer’s stores recorded year-on-year sales increases, led by Manchester’s Trafford shop which was up 18%. Online revenues rose 38.1% over the week.

John Lewis operational development director Lesley Ballantyne looked forward to Tuesday’s opening of Westfield Stratford City and said: “The shop looks stunning and is something for the division to be truly proud of.”

Grocery chain Waitrose posted a 10.1% increase in weekly sales to £99m. Waitrose reported strong demand for lunch-box products as pupils went back to school.

The retailer has brought Michelin-starred chef Jonathan Moore on board as its executive chef. Waitrose marketing director Rupert Thomas said: “The appointment furthers our industry-leading commitment to food excellence and own-label product development.

“We’re excited to have Jonathan’s wealth of knowledge on board to help build on the success of recent launches such as Waitrose Seriously, essential Waitrose and Menu from Waitrose.