Sales at Waitrose and John Lewis have risen with the arrival of seasonable warm weather, with women’s formalwear the star performer.

Sales across the partnership rose 3.2% to £209.74m in the 24th week of the financial year. For the 24 weeks to July 16, sales were up 3.4%.

At department store group John Lewis, sales rose 3.8% to £83.11m in the week to July 16. In the 24 weeks, sales were up 5.2%.

John Lewis boss Andy Street said: “Customers were getting into the swing of summer last week, with evidence that spending time outside and preparing for the height of wedding season were the top trends driving sales.”

He added that fashion was the best performing category, up 8.7%. Within that, women’s formalwear shot up 45.3%.

Home sales nudged up 1.8%. Within that gift wrap soared by 135.5%, tying into the wedding guest’s shopping list.

Street added: “Outdoor Living was the other star performer, finishing the week at +46.6%, demonstrating customers’ intent to capitalise on the improving weather forecast ahead of last weekend.”

John Lewis’ Oxford Street flagship’s rooftop garden attracted 6,000 people during the week.

At Waitrose, growth was more subdued but sales still increased 2.9% last week, year-on-year, to £126.3m. 

The sunny weather boosted sales of fruit and prepared food. Fresh produce sales rose 6%, with prepared fruit up 14% and soft fruit up 16%. Sandwiches rose 6% while to-go drinks sales shot up 14%.