John Lewis sales soared 11.4% year on year in its week to November 10.
Electricals, home and technology sales jumped 28.8% year on year with own-brand large electricals a star performer.
The department store group said tablets also continued to surge as its new iPad ranges launched to “great effect”.
In fashion, womenswear stood out, according to John Lewis, as its branded offer performed “strongly”. Barbour was a highlight but brands such as Mint Velvet and Whistles continued to “fly”.
It appears Christmas jumpers are having an early outing this year as “anything with a reindeer on it” appears to be selling well in menswear.
Home also had a good week, with strong sales in furniture across bedroom, fitted furniture and upholstery.
John Lewis head of omnichannel development Karen Dracou said: “The weather also helped cement the ‘cosy night in’ theme, with strong sales across lighting, bed linen and blinds. “
The retailer’s online sales soared 37.5% on last year with growth in all three divisions.
At Waitrose, total sales surged 13.6% as Christmas preparations began in earnest, according to the grocer.
Waitrose supply chain director David Jones said: “With colder, darker days and festive television adverts upon us we can be in no doubt that the festive season is just around the corner.
“And, although customers might not be buying their fresh cranberries and sprouts just yet, the season of stocking up is certainly upon us and has been driving sales.”
Waitrose said Christmas cracker sales “exploded” last week, climbing 65% year on year with Christmas confectionery up more than 40%.
Customers have also been quick to take advantage of Waitrose’s 25% off wine offer in preparation for the festive season, with wine sales leaping 38% compared with last year.
Warming dishes were sought out as the cold weather bit last week. Free-range sausages and jacket potatoes, both popular Bonfire Night nibbles, were up 25% and 23% respectively.
Warming ready meals were also high in demand with sales up nearly 27%. Traditional British meals were the most popular, soaring 104%.
With customers spending more time in the comfort of their homes, Waitrose noted that cleaning product sales jumped 20%.
The cold weather also drove customers to Waitrose.com as sales catapulted 61% year on year.