John Lewis department stores put in their best sales performance of the year so far last week when turnover rose 2.2 per cent.

Sales at grocery stablemate Waitrose climbed 11.8 per cent, bringing parent John Lewis Partnership’s sales rise to 8.3 per cent for the week.

John Lewis selling operations director for region A Nat Wakely said the department stores performance was “excellent”. Sales were up on five days out of seven and Father’s Day lifted trade.

Fashion sales rose 10 per cent, headed by menswear and sports, and were the best of the year so far.

White goods were level, consumer electronics “surged ahead” and home showed signs of improvement, although sales in the latter category were still down 5.7 per cent.

Waitrose personnel director Ailsa Emerson said the grocer’s food sales advanced 12.5 per cent and food like-for-likes were 3 per cent above forecast and 5.7 per cent ahead year on year.

Sales of Mediterranean ready meals rose 20 per cent, overtaking the traditional best seller, Indian food.

Signs of credit crunch behaviour are still evident, however. Frozen food sales, for instance, are rising. Emerson said: “We do believe the recession will have some long-term changes on consumer behaviour with customers taking some savvy habits with them into better economic conditions.”