Hot weather in the early part of last week held back John Lewis’s sales, but helped Waitrose to a strong week.

John Lewis was down 2.9 per cent, better than average for the year so far, with a good weekend rescuing a weaker start to the week. Fashion, childrenswear and toys did best, but home, electricals and technology missed last year’s levels of trade.

Aberdeen was the top performing store, up 6 per cent, with only four other stores making gains on last year’s result.

Waitrose enjoyed another strong week, with sales up 9.8 per cent. Like-for-likes were up 4.6 per cent, nearly 10 per cent higher than forecast.

Waitrose managing director Mark Price said the hot weather helped sales of “hot weather lines” such as prepared salads, new potatoes and asparagus. Sales of prepared fruit were up for the first time this year, which Price said may be a sign of consumers being willing to spend again on convenience food, while the elections and revelations about MPs expenses drove newspaper sales up 12 per cent.