John Lewis toasted record sales in the week to December 29, putting it on the festive winners’ podium.

The department store chain posted sales up 8 per cent, excluding its Oxford Street branch’s foodhall, over the period. John Lewis enjoyed strong trading on Christmas Eve and it cleared a record£20 million on the first day of its Clearance Sale.

John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: “If anyone doubted that Christmas comes later every year, our last two weeks' trade will certainly make them think again. Just beating last year's record December weeks would have been impressive, but we have had three weeks of growth at double our average rate for the half.”

Over the week, menswear, leisure and beauty were the star performers, with combined sales growth soaring 31.2 per cent. Womenswear fashion and furniture accessories were also strong performers, up 14.2 per cent and 12.1 per cent respectively. However, furniture and textiles sales dropped 8.4 per cent.

John Lewis Partnership stablemate supermarket chain Waitrose posted a 25.6 per cent jump in sales, excluding the Oxford Street foodhall, in the week to December 29.