Sales at John Lewis were boosted by an uplift in fashion purchases last week.
Fashion sales rose 12.7% in the week to October 13 as overall sales rose 8.6% to £68m. Menswear sales rose 19.5% while branded casualwear enjoyed a 36% uplift.
However, sales slowed to 11.8% in the electricals and home technology category, which has seen consistently strong growth this year, due to some key launches in the near future including Windows 8 next week which meant shoppers held off buying laptops and PCs.
Online sales rose 23.2% on the same week last year.
John Lewis also opened its first new format full-line department store in Exeter during the week and there were queues to get in throughout Friday, when it opened, and Saturday. Other strong performers were the Norwich, Poole and Cardiff stores while Chester, Brent Cross and High Wycombe recorded lower sales than last year.
John Lewis central operations head or merchandising Susan Young said: “Last week was a slightly mixed week on trade at John Lewis, but overall still strong results. Sales were up 8.6% versus last year, with both channels and all three buying directorates delivering uplifts year on year.
“With the cooler weather encouraging people to buy winter clothing, outerwear categories were significantly up on last year.”
John Lewis said its Christmas assortment is “starting to gather momentum” and it has launched a Winterland Pop-up Shop in stores this week.
Sales at sister grocer Waitrose climbed 6.5% to £110.27m last week. Waitrose said the “massive popularity” of BBC TV show The Great British Bake Off had fuelled strong baking and bakingaccessory sales.
Waitrose commercial director Mark Williamson said: “Cake coverings and decorations are up by 85.2% compared to last year, colours and essences by nearly 70%, traditional cooking fruits by nearly 42%, candles by 142% and cake mixes have risen by 53.7%.
“The live shows for Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor combined with England’s World Cup qualifier on Friday certainly appeared to impact sales with people seemingly choosing to spend a quiet evening in this weekend.”