John Lewis beat tough comps last week to beat last year’s performance by 7.8% and make October its best month of the year so far.

The out of town stores at Bluewater and Trafford led the way again in the week to 31 October, with double digit increases, while online sales grew by a third. Electricals and home technology was the strongest performing buying group, while fashion was the fastest growing part of the online business.

Operational development director Andrew Murphy said John Lewis’s Christmas ranges are being “particularly well received.”

Waitrose jumped by 10.1% over the week, slightly behind the average for the financial year so far, with non-food sales up by a quarter helped by last minute Halloween purchases.

The warmer than usual weather meant a unseasonally good week for picnic foods such as quiches, tarts and cold meats, but tea and biscuits did well too.