Online is star performer
Sales at the John Lewis Partnership climbed 5.6 per cent to£137.1 million in the week to July 7 following an outstanding start to the Sales at its department stores.

The department store business unveiled its best ever figures for the first full week of clearance, as sales jumped 11.2 per cent to£62.35 million. Online sales also rocketed 54 per cent.

John Lewis personnel director Eric Gregory said: 'This was down to outstanding teamwork, focused on maximising sales from a compelling offer. Sales were especially strong in the early part of the week, with customers enjoying a bout of warmer weather and top sporting events at the tail end of the week.'

However, it was another challenging week for the Waitrose supermarket chain, which reported sluggish sales - up just 1.5 per cent to£74.5 million - as it was affected by the poor weather.