John Lewis and Waitrose sales slumped in the week ending April 11 due to Easter falling two weeks earlier this year.

John Lewis weekly sales to April 11

John Lewis sales fell 6.8% to £68.8m during the week when compared with last year, which was the week before the Easter holiday.

The sales decline was mitigated by online increasing 16.1% year on year and warm weather helped fashion sales, which only fell 2% year on year against tough comparatives.

Womenswear was boosted by customers buying summer wardrobes, with a particularly strong performance from accessories including sunglasses and sandals.

Home sales were down 13% against last year, but outdoor living put in a strong performance as it rose 55% as a result of the warm weather.

Six-day trading

Meanwhile, sales at Waitrose fell 9.6% year on year to £112m because all of its shops were closed on Easter Sunday (April 5), which meant the results compared a six-day trading week with a seven-day week.

Waitrose believes a more realistic comparison would be to compare the trading week with the full seven-day week beginning Easter Sunday last year, which shows sales (excluding petrol) were down by 1%.

The grocer says hot weather and a weekend full of sporting events including the Grand National and Boat Race “resulted in an early start for alfresco dining”.

Adult ice lolly sales surged 27% and children’s lollies were up by 11%, while barbeque meats also recorded a huge jump.

Lamb burger sales increased 510% and veal burgers recorded a spike of 37%.