Sales at John Lewis soared last week as its Clearance Sale drove strong online custom.

Department store John Lewis took £63.83m in the week to January 14, a 14.4% increase on last year’s performance, which was held back by poor consumer spending following the VAT increase. The retailer made £53.58m in the same week in 2010.

Online sales rocketed 50.4% on last year with all categories growing sales by over 25% and click-and-collect sales double last year’s level.

Electricals and home technology was the strongest performing sector with a 31.3% uplift as 20 branches improved on last year’s figures.  

John Lewis head of merchandising operations Sarah Morris said: “Our final Clearance marketing message drove footfall into branches and good trading of assortment and space delivered increases on both Clearance and full-price product.

“We hope to continue this sales momentum for the last two weeks of the financial year. The main opportunity is to surprise and delight customers with strong launches of our new season product in fashion and home as we gear up for an earlier launch of the home catalogue and more spring fashion stock than last year.”

Total sales at grocery arm Waitrose last week rose by 7.1% on last year to £100.25m.

Waitrose finance director Tom Athron said: “The mixed weather made for a week of polarised shopping trends, with warm and cold weather products selling well.

“The milder temperatures in the early part of the week prompted strong sales of products more typically associated with the spring and summer months. This went hand-in-hand with the new year trend towards healthy eating.”