£122m notched up over May day week
The John Lewis Partnership - including Waitrose and the eponymous department store chain - revealed sales were up 7.8 per to£122.15 million in the week to May 12.

Sales at John Lewis rose 8.5 per cent to£49.08 million, helped by the May Day bank holiday trade. Online sales also soared 44.6 per cent.

John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: 'After the sun of April, the rain of May yielded a much more encouraging week. A crucial feature was the return to form of our electrical and home technology business. The launch of the Get Connected promotion helped computers, gaming and imaging. It was tougher for the clothing departments, but all areas of menswear excelled.'

However Street added: 'With interest rates rising another notch, I suspect it is going to take all our operational skill to stretch our cumulative score.'

At supermarket Waitrose, sales increased 7.4 per cent to£72.79 million. Waitrose finance director Richard Mayfield said: 'A typically wet British bank holiday set a pattern that continued throughout the week, resulting in sales falling slightly short of budget.'