Sales up across the group
The John Lewis Partnership - including Waitrose and the eponymous department store chain - revealed trading was strong, despite gale force winds having a major impact on sales.

Group sales rose 8.9 per cent to£112.51 million for the week ending January 20. Sales at John Lewis department stores increased 8.5 per cent to£43 million and online sales rose 44.9 per cent.

Some department stores were severely affected by the storms, such as the Cheadle branch, which lost five hours of trade on Thursday - however it still managed to achieve a 2.3 per cent sales growth.

John Lewis customer service director Simon Fowler said: 'Two powerful and well-timed promotions are now in store: Simply John Lewis and Get Fit, Stay Fit. Both convey the authority we have in these areas as well as our strong lead on quality and value.'

Sales at the Waitrose supermarket chain increased 9.3 per cent to£69.4 million. Waitrose supply chain director Tony Solomons said that the weather had a massive impact on sales, especially on Thursday.

However, he added: 'Partners are to be commended on their commitment in these difficult conditions with many overcoming travel problems to get to work.'