John Lewis has reported a rise in sales for the 13th week of the year, with many categories across home, fashion and grocery delivering results.
Overall, sales at the partnership increased 4.6% in the 13th week and 3.4% in the 13 weeks since its financial year start.
At John Lewis, sales were up 9.9% at £84.6m. The department store said that customers took advantage of the bank holiday and its price match on a competitor’s promotional activity.
Electricals had a strong week, with sales up 13%. Communication technology performed well, with tablets and computers a key category. Large electricals were up 10.8%.
Furniture soared 21.7% while gifts rose 9.6% and outdoor living sales rose 6.2%. Home sales were up 9.4% overall.
Beauty, wellbeing and leisure increased 13.4% while fashion rose 8.9%, with womenswear up 12.2%. However, retail development head Mark Blundell said that it was “a week of two halves, with cold weather products selling well at the beginning of the week and our summer ranges doing better as the sun came out over the weekend”.
Waitrose’s performance was more muted than that of John Lewis but still positive at 1.4% in the 13th week, and sales were up 2.3% in the 13 weeks. Fresh produce was up 4.2% while flower sales at Waitrose Florist soared 25%.
Waitrose commercial director Mark Williamson said that the “unsettled weather drew out some unseasonal trends”.
He added: “The cold start to the week saw shoppers turn to comfort food instead of barbecues ahead of the bank holiday weekend. As snow fell, sales of hot pies, meat joints and gravy soared, while sales of opaque tights rose.
“However, with the weather at the end of the week taking a turn for the better, thoughts turned to spring and sunshine with sales of flowers and fresh produce up as customers enjoyed salads and soft and prepared fruit.”