MP3 players helped a 26.4 per cent rise in sales of electronics, and winter clothing and Christmas toys both performed strongly. Sales of smaller electricals, such as coffee-makers and vacuum cleaners was also buoyant.
Womenswear and accessories were up by 5.8 per cent, while the knit shop helped with a good performance. John Lewis director of customer service Simon Fowler said: 'An excellent result from cashmere shows how much this product is in demand this Christmas.'
The retailer is optimistic about Christmas trading, with a headline on employee magazine the John Lewis Gazette declaring: 'Let the tills ring out for Xmas.'
Sales of duvets were boosted by the cold weather. This week's report also revealed that Christmas stationery sales are starting to increase.