John Lewis recorded a “solid” week last week with sales up 11.6%.

The department store said it was “pleased” with the performance for the week to May 19 which was difficult to compare with last year.

Comparisons were challenging as the improvement in the weather and the tail end of the digital switchover was in its favour while last year price matching against Debenhams drove strong sales.  

Online was the best performing category, recording a “cracking” 37.5% uplift. The retailer has doubled its sales through click & collect, helped by a further 100 Waitrose stores offering the service.

Fashion sales rose 2% against “stiff” price matching in 2011 and damp weather at the start of the week.

Poole, Croydon and Tunbridge Wells were the strongest performing stores with Bluewater the laggard.

John Lewis retail operations development director Simon Russell said: “There was a Jubilee theme to much of the home sales with anything red, white and blue definitely ‘in’ this spring. Bunting, bowler hats and tea towels were the best sellers and will adorn the most stylish street parties.

“Customers were also investing in their houses again with big-ticket textiles and main furniture comfortably up, offsetting what was a tricky week for outdoor furniture and picnicware as customers avoided their gardens, given the weather.”

Russell said that the onset of summer, the run-up to half term and the extended bank holiday weekend is like to create a spike in demand for summer fashion and outdoor lines.

Waitrose sales rose 6.6% helped by price matching against Tesco which has been “very warmly received”. The grocer enjoyed a strong week online, with sales up 26.5%.