John Lewis department store and stablemate supermarket chain Waitrose both delivered strong trading in the week to September 22, despite being up against tough comparatives from last year.

John Lewis posted a 7.7 per cent increase in sales for the week, driven by a robust performance in fashion and furnishings.

John Lewis director of retail operations Patrick Lewis said that among its directorates, “fashions came out on top, with men’s, leisure and beauty just ahead of womenswear”. He added: “Our children’s departments may have passed the peak of back to school, but demand is still strong, particularly in children’s shoes, so clothing areas made the most of the extra footfall. Toy departments are expanding to make space for the extra seasonal stock and sales are lifting well in response.”

Waitrose also delivered buoyant figures, up 8 per cent in the week to September 22. Many stores returned sales above budget, as warm unsettled weather assisted trade.