Sales at John Lewis were flat this week as customers bought up toys and gift wrap and finally begun to prepare for the cold weather.

The performance is an improvement on last week, which saw a 3.2% drop in sales on the same week year-on-year.

Mid-week sales at the department store chain show that with four weeks to go until Christmas, parents are prioritising kids presents with toy purchases, while gift wrap transactions have also risen as Christmas ribbon sales soar 70% year-on-year.

John Lewis director of selling operations David Barford said: “Trade so far this week is flat on last year against strong comparatives.

“With only four weeks to go until Christmas Eve shoppers are snapping up gifts for their children and everything they need to wrap them.

“Sales of toys and technology products for children are already strong and customers are snapping up woollen yarns, indicating that they are preparing themselves for the colder weather set to come our way this weekend.”

Last week fashion retailer French Connnection reported a 9.5% plummet in like-for-likes in its third quarter, as a result of weak consumer confidence combined with the mild winter conditions, stopping customers from buying winter warmers.

Barford added there had been strong growth in web sales this week and customers using the click and collect service is up 70% on last year week-to-date.

John Lewis reported that top Christmas toy the Vtech Inntab has been “flying off the shelves”.