Turnover up 11.2 per cent
Post-half term sales show no signs of sliding at John Lewis department stores. Turnover rose 11.2 per cent to£57.53 million for the week ending November 4. Overall sales increased by 12 per cent to£131.25 million and online sales climbed 36.9 per cent.

The colder weather has had an impact on sales of both fashion and accessories - scarves, gloves and coats all did well. Womenswear sales increased 10.1 per cent, with menswear, leisure and beauty up 13.8 per cent.

Childrenswear sales were also encouraging, showing a 6.5 per cent increase and furnishing accessories were up 6 per cent, with furniture and textiles ahead by 6.3 per cent. Christmas decoration sales rose more than 20 per cent and it was also another strong week for electrical goods, as sales increased by 19.8 per cent.

John Lewis managing director Charlie Mayfield said: 'Sales climb steeply from now to Christmas. We are well prepared and should trade successfully, although our percentage increase is likely to slow. As one branch wrote in its trading update, 'there is less browsing and more spending.''

The equivalent figure for Waitrose was a 12.7 per cent increase for the week ending November 4, and sales reached£73.52 million.