Department store chain John Lewis generated a 17.7% sales rise last week when turnover was £55m.

“Trade was well spread across the country and between the directorates” in the period to May 8, said managing director Andy Street.

Fashion sales climbed 20%, driven by nursery and childrenswear. Home categories such as cooking and dining were also up 20% and electricals and home technology “saw strong sales with vision being very much back on form, hopefully reflecting the beginnings the World Cup run-up”.

Street said John Lewis had outperformed the BRC April non-food sales data. But he cautioned: “We need to keep our feet firmly on the ground and to continue to fight for each and every sale. I suspect it’s going to get tougher for us, but we are certainly well placed against our competitors.”

Sales at stablemate grocery chain Waitrose rose 12.3% in the week to £93.2m.

Prepared vegetables, ready meals and roasting joints all sold well and newspapers were ahead 15% on the back of interest in the election.

Waitrose retail director Tony Solomons said: “After a night of election watching it seems that many shoppers sustained themselves with a hearty breakfast, with morning goods enjoying positive sales.”