Sales at John Lewis were lacklustre last week as the hot weather offset the benefits of the start of its Clearance period.

Sales at the department store chain fell 3.7 per cent in the week to June 27 to £50.89m. John Lewis said that it was a “good” week in light of the hot weather on Saturday, which coincided with the start of its Sale period.

John Lewis Direct reported a 39 per cent year-on-year uptick in orders taken at the start of the Clearance period.

During the week, electricals and home technology reported its strongest first day of Clearance from a merchandising perspective, with audio, IT and vision reporting increases. Weather-related items such as fridges and fans were in demand.

Reduced footfall on Saturday meant that fashion fell 1.3 per cent. However, childrenswear grew 8.5 per cent for the week, outdoor toys jumped 14 per cent and suncare rose 35 per cent.

The home division fell 8.4 per cent reflecting the depressed nature of the sector as a whole. However, outdoor living products grew 20 per cent and picnic-ware rose 10 per cent.

At grocery arm Waitrose, sales rose 10.1 per cent during the week to £85.2m as the hot weather boosted food sales, which rose 11 per cent on the year.

Outside eating drove sales during the week, as Wimbledon inspired alfresco dining, with branches reporting peaks and troughs according to Wimbledon fixtures. WaitroseDeliver saw a surge in orders during matches played by British tennis hopeful Andy Murray and a drop off during them.

Recent TNS grocery figures revealed that Waitrose’s growth was 7 per cent for the 12 weeks to June 14 and that market share grew to 4.08 per cent.