Department store chain John Lewis has reported a mixed week with sales down 5.1 per cent.

John Lewis said the good weather made the start of the week slow, with both Sunday and Monday showing decreases. The retailer said trade improved through the week but was still challenging, building towards Thursday and Friday where it was up against last year.

Fashion led the way with sales up 4.3 per cent, childrenswear was up 27 per cent and womenswear up 10.5 per cent.

In the home department, its outdoor ranges performed well, up 17.2 per cent. Big-ticket was more challenging.

John Lewis director of selling operations David Barford said: “In branches, Peter Jones led the way with strong performances in fashion, home and consumer electronics; nine departments were up on last year. The Chelsea Flower Show window was also launched in Peter Jones with the creation of an afternoon tea in an English garden.”

Grocer Waitrose has reported weekly sales up 6.1 per cent. The grocer said food sales were 7.5 per cent higher than last year and like-for-like sales were higher than expected at 3.6 per cent up on last year.

In the first week after the introduction of free delivery at WaitroseDeliver, orders were the highest ever achieved outside the Christmas period.

With April having lots of sunny weather, Waitrose said flower bouquets were up 23 per cent and sales of outdoor plants soared 335 per cent.

Overall, the John Lewis Partnership recorded a sales uplift of 1.9 per cent.