John Lewis has reported strong trading on last Friday and Saturday, when it reduced prices early to reflect this Monday's VAT reduction.

For the week ending November 29, John Lewis reported like-for-like sales were down 13 per cent and it said it adjusted the prices on 380,000 lines for the VAT cut. It said the best year-on-year movements came from John Lewis Direct and its stores in Aberdeen, Oxford Street and Cambridge.

John Lewis director Nat Wakely said: “TV sales were understandably slow in the first half of last week and were unable to catch up in the last two days, but sales of computers and peripherals were up year on year, boosted by new technology and exciting new gift lines for Christmas.”

It also said its increased activity on Never Knowingly Undersold had a positive effect on footfall and conversion in areas including fashion and accessories.

Waitrose reported a 1.4 per cent uplift in like-for-like sales for the week, driven by its promotions. It ran a half-price party food promotion, followed by 50 per cent off champagne and smoked salmon.

Overall, John Lewis Partnership reported weekly sales down 6.1 per cent.