John Lewis & Partners’ weekly sales declined despite its own-brand homeware range registering its “biggest week” this year.

John Lewis & Partners’ home sales fell 9.1% during the period, but the retailer registered a 26% increase in ‘Off to Uni’ sales, making it its “biggest week” for own-brand homeware sales this year.

Despite this the department store’s total weekly sales fell 5.5% during the week to September 7.

Fashion sales declined 4.9%, compared with a 1.8% increase during the same period the previous year. Electrical and home technology sales were down 3.5%, although large electrical sales saw a slight 1.5% uptick.

Waitrose & Partners’ total sales for the same week fell 1.1%. Ambient and home and general merchandise sales declined 0.8% and 2.2% respectively.

Non-ambient food registered a slight 0.1% increase in sales for the week, compared to a 0.1% decline for the same period the previous year.

During the week Waitrose extended its ‘Unpacked’ test to its Cheltenham store, offering customers a dedicated refillable zone, including dispensers for dried products, frozen pick and mix, coffee, beer, wine, detergent and washing-up liquid.

It is the second Waitrose shop of its kind to offer ethically minded customers more sustainable shopping options.

John Lewis Partnership’s total sales fell 2.9% to £210.2m during the period.