Sales at department store chain John Lewis rose 1.4% last week to £58.6m, when electricals and home technology was once again the top performing category.

Excluding VAT, revenues were down 0.4% in the week to August 27.

A ‘back to college and work’ campaign helped drive sales of electricals and technology, supported by bank holiday promotions. The category was up 7.8% in the week.

Fashion sales climbed 1.6%, boosted by demand for new season own-brand womenswear. Home goods were down 3.3% however.

Only one shop, Cardiff, delivered a year-on-year sales advance. The retailer said stores’ “variable” performance was partly a result of refurbishments ahead of the peak trading period. Online revenues climbed by 33.9%.

John Lewis fashion and beauty buying director Susanne Given said: “Autumn is on its way, and we are excited about our new season’s products and about-to-be-launched advertising campaigns - all of which will hopefully keep our customers inspired.”

Sister chain Waitrose posted a 9.9% increase in weekly sales to £99.3m. The grocer reported strong sales of barbecue food for the bank holiday and has observed a rise in the number of customers ordering online for delivery to holiday locations such as campsites and cottages.

Waitrose commercial director Mark Williamson said: “Top reasons for getting shopping delivered while on holiday include a lack of knowledge of the area, and cars too overloaded with luggage to fit in bags of food.”