John Lewis’ beauty and wellbeing sales boosted the depatment store chain’s performance last week as sales fell at sister retailer Waitrose.

Sales inched up 0.4% to £75.34m in the seventh week of the department store’s financial year, rising 1.4% in the seven weeks.

Fashion and beauty had particularly good weeks rising 4.8% and 11% respectively.

Online trade director, Mark Felix, said this reflected “strong sales in beauty products ahead of Mother’s Day this weekend” and added that the event also supported home gifting, which was up 13.7%.

Home sales were down 1.6% against the previous year, adversely affected by the timing of Easter, and electricals were down 2%.

Waitrose sales down

At Waitrose, sales shrunk 2.1% to £126.7m in the seventh week. They were down 0.1% in the seven weeks.

Waitrose personnel director, Helen Hyde, said: “Comparisons are distorted though by the same trading week last year being the week before Easter.

Warmer temperatures towards the start of the week, including the hottest day of the year so far on Wednesday, appeared to influence sales.

“With Mother’s Day on the horizon this weekend, there was still time for treats as sales of pre-packed cakes rose by 30%.”

Horticulture sales rose 13%, food-to-go and salad sales rose 8% while fresh fruit performed strongly with soft fruit up 3.1%.

Overall at the partnership, sales were down 1.2% to £202.04m in the seventh week and up 0.5% in the seven weeks.