John Lewis sales surged 16.2% to £70m last week as the cooler weather drove shoppers into stores.

Online sales rocketed 45.8%, which the retailer called an “impressive” performance.

The retailer, which opens its first small department store in Exeter today, said fashion drove sales for the week ending October 6 as shoppers updated their wardrobes, prompted by the autumnal weather. Womenswear, menswear and kidswear all traded at a similar level.

Own brand labels “performed particularly strongly”, said the retailer, noting its Collection and Temperley labels created “excitement from customers”.

But sales across communication technology and telecoms came top of all categories with sales up 72%.

Sales across furniture increased 7% and living and dining surged 17%. Bed linens came out top with sales soaring 29%.

The new Christmas shop opened last week with “positive” early sales.

Sister company Waitrose delivered a 6.8% increase in sales to £110m last week due to the mixed weather. Online sales soared 62%, which Waitrose believes is due to customers wanting to stay out of the cold and shop from home.

The grocer said it is making up to 7,000 deliveries to customers every day with a fifth of addresses in London.

‘Heston’ was the most searched for term on, driven by the launch of his ready meals, which Waitrose reports have been “extremely” popular. Waitrose ready meals sales surged 64% as customers took advantage of the ’save a third’ offer on the products.

As the temperature has dropped, Waitrose reported fresh soup sales up 28%. Hearty meals were popular as customers bought 54% more slow-cooked beef against last year. Brandy sales also increased 63%.

Waitrose also posted a 10% increase in lightbulb sales due to the nights drawing in.