Strong fashion and home sales helped department store chain John Lewis increase year on year turnover by 12.5% to £49.5m last week.

The retailer notched up a 17% increase in fashion sales in the week to February 13, powered by double-digit increases in men’s branded casualwear and 33% rises in women’s categories including outerwear. Fashion also helped John Lewis Direct sales climb by 29.5%.

Home sales were up 16.5%, helped by Valentine’s Day which boosted gift items.

John Lewis Region B selling operations director David Barford said: “All in all, a brilliant week’s trade and providing the snow holds off we can look forward to a strong half-term week with newness continuing to be the theme across all directorates.”

John Lewis’s sister chain, grocer Waitrose, recorded a 9.5% weekly sales increase to £91.5m. Valentine’s Day drove an 83% uplift in sparkling wine sales and bought in oysters for a romantic meal.

The start of the Chinese New year also helped – sales of Oriental ready meals leaped 66%.

Waitrose finance director Tom Athron said: “A surprise hit was our new toilet tissue with cashmere extracts. In times of economic hardship it’s the little luxuries that put a smile on your face.”