John Lewis Partnership has suffered another drop in sales at its department stores.

For the third week running, John Lewis reported a slowdown in sales, down 2.8 per cent for the week to May 24 across its 26 UK department stores.

John Lewis director of selling operations Dan Knowles said: “Not unexpectedly, considering the economic climate, trade this week did not exceed last year’s figures.”

He added that John Lewis was confident that the opening of its new shop in Liverpool One would lift its sales.

Waitrose sales rose 4.6 per cent to£79.5 million for the week, but it said that changeable weather across the country made trade challenging over the bank holiday weekend.