John Lewis has reported a consistent week of trading, with weekly sales down 3.1 per cent.

The department store chain said the seven days in the week ending May 2 were “pretty much level” with last year, with a “surprisingly strong Saturday, given the good weather”.

John Lewis’s Cambridge store led the increases, with Aberdeen and London’s Peter Jones just behind. The worst performers included Bluewater, Peterborough, Reading and Nottingham.

Fashion led, with sales up 1.6 per cent, and the retailer said home performed stronger than of late, where sales were down 9.5 per cent. The retailer said home is benefitting from the trend of “eating in being the new going out”, with its cookshop up 5 per cent, backed by strong sales of barbecues. Suncare was up nearly 50 per cent.

Grocer Waitrose reported sales up 6.6 per cent for the week with a “warm bank holiday with a payday weekend” helping the uplift. Coastal branches performed well for the bank holiday, including Lymington and Saltash.

Barbecue ranges fared well, including salad dressings up 31 per cent, continental meats up 24 per cent, and shellfish up 50 per cent.

Gardeners also took advantage of the warm weather, as Waitrose reported sales of outdoor plants achieving almost 300 per cent growth on last year.

Waitrose Deliver broke sales records across the country, receiving the highest number of customer orders ever placed. The service was also introduced to the retailer’s Worthing and Harborne shops.

Waitrose has also launched a new, exclusive wine, called Virtue. The wine is shipped from Chile in eco-friendly tanks and bottled in the UK.

Overall, the John Lewis Partnership is up 3 per cent for the week.