John Lewis recorded a 0.1% drop in sales to £61.9m last week, which proved “challenging” as the warm weather kept many customers in their gardens rather than out shopping.
The department store retailer said it was against strong comparatives from last year.
Fashion helped drive sales up 4% as it was one of the categories to benefit from the change in weather as womenswear, accessories and beauty and kidswear all performed well, said John Lewis. The category did particularly well online too as trade surged 39% year on year.
John Lewis said it was a “tougher week overall” in the home category but it recorded “strong” sales of small electricals, which were up 22%, while core imaging was up 26%. But the impact of the iPad3 launch and the digital switchover last year set “challenging numbers to beat”, said the retailer.
Online fared well with an 11% jump in sales amid a relaunch of the site. John Lewis also revealed it is now trading at an annual run rate of more than £1bn online.
John Lewis online director Mark Lewis said: “This is an incredible achievement, not least because we have achieved it a year earlier than originally targeted.”
Waitrose, John Lewis’ sister supermarket, recorded its strongest week so far for summery foods, as sales excluding petrol jumped 9.9% to £115m.
The grocer said online sales surged 41.3% last week as customers enjoyed the warmer weather.
Salads were up 12%, prepared vegetables soared 28% and exotic fruit rocketed 53%. Meanwhile, its Good on the Go range of sandwiches and snack food had its best week of the year so far with sales up 16%.
Waitrose said popular TV programmes such as Broadchurch, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice are keeping customers indoors of an evening, which has helped boost sales of its £10 meal deal.
In addition, Waitrose’s latest TV ad, which focuses on ‘The Farmer and the Precious Egg’ drove sales of free-range eggs up 17%.
Designer hair care also surged 44% last week as the Richard Ward Chelsea Collection launched.