John Lewis recorded a jump in sales last week as a boost from Father’s Day offset the negative impact of unseasonably wet weather.
The department store chain’s sales advanced 4.2% to £79.2m in the week to June 18, as Father’s Day gifts and pop-up areas in stores buoyed performance.
John Lewis’s home accessories and gifts category enjoyed a 7% increase in sales compared with the same week last year, while menswear also had a “good” week, climbing 6.2%.
Men’s formalwear sales also improved last week, growing 12.7% year on year, driving the wider fashion category into positive territory with a 2% uplift.
However, John Lewis said the spate of wet weather meant its high summer lines struggled during the week, although the downpours propelled sales of umbrellas up 239%.
John Lewis said its home category had a “steady” week, posting a sales increase of 3.7% on the year, with beds and bedroom furniture driving performance of the division with 19.9% growth.
Electricals and home technology also enjoyed sales growth of 7.4% during the week, with the retailer singling out communication technology as “the star performer”, with the success of Microsoft products driving sales up 17.1%.
Sister retailer Waitrose posted a 1.3% uplift in sales to £128.6m during the same seven-day period, but blamed the cool and wet weather for a slowdown in year-on-year growth.
The upmarket grocer said that shoppers turned away from barbecue foods to warming soups, which posted an 8% rise in sales compared with the same week last year.
The supermarket chain also hailed “strong sales” of its premium Waitrose 1 range, which drove sales uplifts in a number of categories.
Waitrose said sales of yoghurt, pasta and coffee increased by 44%, 19% and 13% respectively.
Sales of spirits also edged up 4% as brandy and whisky proved popular among shoppers ahead of Father’s Day.