Department store John Lewis sales rose 5.6% to £57m last week as Back to School drove a record week for childrenswear.

The retailer said it experienced “strong” footfall over the bank holiday weekend, but that footfall declined after that as children returned to schools and Brits made the most for the warmer weather.

Consequently, it said, John Lewis should “take encouragement from an overall positive movement, and be grateful that with the multi-channel platform, when customers stay at home, we can still do serious business with them”.

Fashion sales increased 10.7% and was the “stand out” category, powered by online growth.  White goods were “very much in demand” last week and the retailer benefited from the Back to School trade, which delivered a record week for childrenswear.

In the home category sales increased 7.1%, while online sales rocketed 35%.

Bluewater was the best performing store, with sales up 10%.

John Lewis head of operational support Chris Hooper said: “For the remainder of September as schools return, the pattern of trade itself will be more predictable. That said, the next few weeks do offer up a very good opportunity to drive some strong performance, and with September done, we can focus all efforts on the exciting surge towards peak trade.”

At its sister supermarket chain, Waitrose, sales grew 8.9% last week, to £90.13m as the grocer benefited from customers trading up and “getting creative in the kitchen”. Fish performed particularly strongly, while barbecue meats continued to sell well.