Department store business John Lewis has reported record weekly revenue in the run-up to Christmas and a similar start to its Sale.

Turnover breached the £150m mark for the first time in the week to December 22, when it hit £157.8m - up 26.5% on the same week last year.

All of John Lewis’s main categories – fashion, home and technology – delivered record weekly sales.

The retailer launched its Sale online at 5pm on Christmas Eve, and said that orders rocketed 70% year on year in the first hour.

John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: “To be announcing another record-breaking pre-Christmas week along with such a fantastic start to our online Clearance is marvellous news, and is very encouraging ahead of our shops opening their doors [today].

“Many of our customers clearly chose to shop right up until the last minute this year and it’s pleasing that we were able to provide them with the gifts they were looking for.”

Visits to the John Lewis website rose up by 24% on Christmas Day and sales increased by 40% year on year. Sales peaked between 9pm and 10pm.

Other retailers have reported strong starts to their Sales. Famous department store Selfridges took £1.5m in its first hour of trading yesterday and Boxing Day shopper numbers on the high street overall were up 20% year-on-year, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Industry body IMRG calculated online traffic to Sales rose 86% and 71% respectively on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.