John Lewis reported a dip of 2.1 per cent in its weekly sales as further uncertainty in the financial markets hit its business.

For the week ending March 7, the department store chain’s Aberdeen and Glasgow branches led the way with strong increases in beauty, childrenswear and toys.

Out of its newer shops, Cambridge led the way with fashion accessories and beauty up 49 per cent. Elsewhere, Liverpool and Leicester beat expectations.

Women’s shoes benefitted from the cold snap, up 12.6 per cent and handbags also performed well, up 17 per cent.

Waitrose reported sales up 1.7 per cent for the week. The grocer started to introduce its value line Essential to stores, and reported Easter sales are “warming up nicely”.

Overall, the John Lewis Partnership reported sales up 0.3 per cent.

On Wednesday John Lewis Partnership reported full year pre-tax profits have slumped 26 per cent to just under£280m.