Sales at John Lewis department stores climbed 14.2% last week, when five stores delivered a double-digit revenue rise.

There were advances in all the retailer’s main categories, led by electricals and  home technology which was up 20.6%.

The switchover to digital TV in the south east of England powered the rise in the week to March 10th - vision sales rocketed by almost 50% - along with promotions.

Fashion sales increased 17.5%. John Lewis Region B selling operations director David Barford said:  “The star performers among lots of really good results were women’s accessories and beauty at 25.5%, driven by our price matching policy.

“This was followed by womenswear which delivered a 16.3% uplift with women’s brands doing particularly well - all driven by the milder weather, spring colours and our new assortments.

Sales of home lines rose 7.8%, driven by furniture which was ahead 6.4%. turnover was ahead by 37.5%. Fashion rose 59.4 per cent, electricals and home technology 32.9% and home 25.6%.

At grocery chain Waitrose total sales rose  7.2 %. A sunny weekend  sunny weekend led to  strong sales of summer food such as strawberries, which were up 45%.