John Lewis sales slipped 0.8% to £76.3m in the week to Saturday November 12.

The department store said its customers are “proving resilient” despite a week of “severe economic turbulence”.

The retailer said it notched up strong performances in home furnishing services, particularly floor coverings, while sales of bedding saw “significant increases”.

John Lewis reported “excellent” sales of Christmas trees and gifts, particularly in technology, as well as food.

John Lewis retail director Andrew Murphy said: “With very strong figures from last year against us, milder weather than is seasonal and the turbulent economic climate, our results show that our customers are beginning to think seriously about Christmas and making John Lewis their destination for purchases. 

“They give us continued confidence that John Lewis’ strong and innovative products, customer service and price matching will ensure our position as market leader on the high street over the festive season.”

John Lewis launched its Christmas ad campaign at the weekend, which was watched by more than 10 million viewers in a prime ‘X Factor’ slot on Saturday.

It has had almost 400,000 views on Youtube across two days since it launched on the site on Friday.

John Lewis marketing director Craig Inglis said: “It’s clear from comments in social media that with only 42 days to go, for many people the launch of the John Lewis advert signals the beginning of the countdown to Christmas.

“The performance of the advert’s star, seven-year-old Lewis McGowan, seems to have captured the mood of the nation with many people commenting on the advert’s focus of what Christmas is really about - the anticipation and joy of giving a thoughtful present to your loved ones”.