John Lewis Partnership sales dropped as Mother’s Day purchases failed to offset the slump in grocery purchases triggered by a later Easter.

The department store retailer posted a 4.1% decline in sales in the week to March 25 year-on-year to £81.7m.

Electricals and home technology sales reported the steepest decline, down 12.2%, which the retailer attributed to “strong promotions in the comparable week last year”. Nevertheless, sales of mobile phone and photography equipment were up 27.1%.

Sales in John Lewis’ home category also declined 3.3% overall despite sales of carpets and other floor products recording a 23.8% jump, and home gifts soaring 38.8% due to Mother’s Day purchases.

Fashion continued its strong run of sale for the department store retailer, up 2.8%, bolstered by an 11.1% leap in womenswear sales while beauty, wellbeing and leisure sales soared 16.5%.

Waitrose sales drop

Sister retailer Waitrose posted a 12.9% drop in sales to £135.8m, which it attributed to Easter falling during the same period last year.

Sales dropped across all of the grocer’s categories, exacerbated by purchases of ambient food products and meat fish, frozen and dairy items dropping 22.1% and 14.7% respectively.

The more temperate weather also triggered a boost in demand for outdoor food as sandwich sales went up 15.4% and food-to-go increased by 18.8%.