Sales at department store chain John Lewis rose 7.2% to £54m last week, when the retailer benefited from the half-term holiday south of the border.

On a two-week basis, taking account of the Scottish half-term the previous week, John Lewis’s sales were up 3.4%.

The retailer’s online business again put in the best performance, delivering a sales increase of 24.5% in the week to February 26. Three shops – Cambridge, Trafford and Leicester – achieved double-digit sales advances.

Fashion sales rose 10% over the week, electricals and home technology 6% and home goods 5%.

Stablemate grocer Waitrose recorded a 6.2% sales rise last week to £94.9m.

Waitrose retail director Tony Solomon said: “Last week we also received the first full week of sales from our new St Saviour store in Jersey. Sales exceeded all expectations.”