Record-breaking sales across chains
The John Lewis Partnership revealed sales surged by 9.6 per cent to£126.62 million in the week to December 30, with good trading at both Waitrose and the eponymous department store chain.

At John Lewis, sales rose 7.2 per cent to£65 million for the week ending December 30, even with one less Sales day than the previous year. Total online sales also increased by 45 per cent over the period.

The company said: 'We took more money on the first day of clearance than ever before. At£18.3 million, this was 10 per cent ahead of last year.'

Christmas trading at Waitrose was also outstanding, with sales rocketing by 12.4 per cent to£61.65 million in the week ending December 30.

The grocer set a new weekly sales record of£136 million during the Christmas week and took£30.2 million on December 22 alone - another record for Waitrose.

The supermarket said: 'Christmas was a resounding success. Availability was excellent and many customers complimented us on our first-class service.'