Department store chain John Lewis posted a solid set of figures for the week to April 26 and stablemate supermarket chain Waitrose delivered a strong performance.

John Lewis sales increased 1.1 per cent for the week and John Lewis retail operations director Patrick Lewis admitted that trading is relatively volatile.

He said: “With the Easter holidays now behind us, I was hoping that our comparisons against last year would settle down into a more regular pattern, but it was not to be. We started last week by securing a double-figure increase after two days, but then dipped below the line over the following two days.”

Sales at John Lewis Partnership stablemate Waitrose climbed 4 per cent in the week to April 26.

Waitrose commercial director Richard Hodgson said: “Year-on-year comparatives were affected by the changeable weather as the same period last year was mild and settled. Total sales this week were 4 per cent higher than the same period last year, with like-for-like food sales up 0.5 per cent.