John Lewis sales increased 4.4% to £56.8m last week as technology helped drive the department store’s strong performance.

In the Electricals Home and Technology category sales jumped 16.4%, boosted particularly by the iPad and computing.

Fashion sales were flat. Nursery sales soared 22% while men’s formalwear and men’s accessories were up 9%.  In womenswear and beauty the retailer was up against tough comparables as it price matched a rival’s promotion this time last year.

Home edged up 0.5% after a strong performance in beds, lighting and living and dining.

Online sales soared 29.2% aided by a 41% uplift in womenswear after the retailer added 7,000 new fashion lines. Coffee machines also did well online, rocketing 140%.

Eight John Lewis shops were “ahead of budget”, with High Wycombe, Reading and Watford the star performers.

John Lewis at home stores “Continue to build great trade”, with Poole up 19.3% and Croydon up 16.7%.

John Lewis buying & brand director Peter Ruis said: “With stocks and availability in a good position, assortments which are really resonating with customers, and competitor activity that will allow us to show Never Knowingly Undersold in action, we are well placed to continue this performance in the week ahead.”

At its sitser business, upmarket grocer Waitrose, the strong performance continued. Sales at the supermarket were up 6.9% to £105.38m last week as warmer temperatures triggered purchases of spring and summer food.

Fresh salads, and fruit did particularly well, with British strawberries selling well.

Ice cream sales were also up, rising 11.8%, while frozen yoghurt sales also did well.

Waitrose said its current m,eal deal has been “very popular with shoppers”, while ready meals are up 23%.

Heston’s Mandarin and Earl Grey Hot Cross buns “continued to perform well”.