Fashion again drove sales at department store chain John Lewis last week, which reported a 15.9% rise in total turnover to £53.7m.

Strong menswear sales and good weather, which prompted demand for items such as sunglasses, helped lift fashion turnover by 25% in the period to May 1.

Home goods also did well, rising 18% and helped by the Big Day promotion, but electricals and home technology notched up a “less noticeable” improvement, said John Lewis head of operational support Chris Hooper.

The retailer said that 25 of its shops beat last year’s performance and 13 were ahead of the 2008 comparison. The Bluewater store turned in the best performance with a sales rise of 32%, and was up 35%.

Sales at stablemate grocery chain Waitrose climbed 11.2% to £96.3m. The run-up to the general election, said supply chain director mark Williamson, stimulated “a surge in products for swingometer soirees as people watch the results”.