John Lewis has recorded its largest ever sales week, driven by Christmas shopping and cold weather.

The department store chain reported sales in the week to Saturday rose to a record of £123.5m, beating the previous record achieved in the same week last year by 2%.  

The rise represents an 8.7% increase on last week and a 12.2% rise in sales over the same week in 2009.

John Lewis’s online operation also broke records with sales of £28.8m – around 20% above its previous record total.

There was a big uplift in women’s clothing and fashion accessories sales as shoppers bought cold weather coats and gloves for themselves, but shoppers were also looking for gifts.

Cashmere, nightwear, handbags, jewellery and watches dlievered strong trade, with beauty products also popular.

Menswear, iPads, coffee machines, scooters and toys all achieved “stellar results”, according to the retailer.

Maggie Porteous, head of selling operations at John Lewis, said: “We are thrilled to have achieved a new record week.

“Despite the turbulent economic climate we can clearly see that our customers want to deliver a perfect Christmas for their friends and family, whether that is finding the right present or finding those extra touches to decorate their homes. The atmosphere in all our branches is clearly festive.”