Sales at John Lewis department stores rose 7.2% to £58.5m last week, when all main categories delivered a similar performance.

Fashion sales rose 7.7%, electricals and home technology was ahead 6.8% and home climbed 7.4% in the period to October 16.

Online sales rocketed by 40% and Peter Jones was the best performing store, up 9%.

John Lewis operational development director Lesley Ballantyne said: “The week ahead sees trade last year lift towards the Christmas peak and, with stocks of seasonal merchandise in good supply, we are well placed to take advantage of the colder weather than has been forecast for the coming week.”

Sales at the Waitrose grocery chain were up 9.5% to £92.6m over the week, when there was strong demand for comfort foods as the weather turned colder.