Upmarket retailer The Conran Shop has revealed a strong Christmas trading update as shoppers sought to beat the VAT increase.

UK like-for-likes jumped 9% in the 6 weeks to January 16, driven by furniture, which experienced a 25% surge in sales.

The retailer, founded by design legend Sir Terence Conran, said despite trade being “seriously affected by snow”, customers were spurred on by VAT increase. The Conran Shop said it had held “most” of its prices “for the time being”, so sales have also been “strong” since the tax went up on January 4.

In the year to date, the retailer is up 2% on a like-for-like basis.

The Conran Shop managing director Nick Moore said trading this year would be tough but hoped the strong start would continue.

He said: “Customers are recognising the value in our offer, whether it be investing in a classic design, or updating with a new cushion.”

The retailer’s flagship store in London’s South Kensington celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The Conran Shop will be marking the occasion with limited edition offers and events throughout the year.

The Conran Shop also operates a second UK store on Marylebone High Street, as well as stores in Japan, New York and Paris.