Sales at the John Lewis & Partners department stores business slid 5.8% year on year last week as demand for clearance bargains slowed and mild weather hampered the performance of fashion, despite “strong demand for new spring products”.

Over the 50 weeks of the financial year so far, revenues are down 1.6%.

At grocery stablemate Waitrose & Partners, weekly sales declined 2.5% and have edged down 0.8% over 50 weeks.

John Lewis reported fashion sales down 1.5%, electricals and home technology down 2.8% and home down 13.6%.

Womenswear sales climbed 8.7% however, which shop trade director Maggie Porteous said was “driven by clearance and demand for new season own-brand collections”.

She said that the decline in the home category reflected the annualisation of “a strong competitor promotion which we price matched” but there was demand for the retailer’s new own-brand cordless vacuum cleaners.

Waitrose customer director Martin George said that sales of vegan products climbed 13% as Veganuary continued. Low- and no-alcohol drinks sales advanced 27% as shoppers took part in Dry January.