John Lewis revenue increased 9.5% in its week to January 11 as going back to work did not stop customers shopping in its Sales.
The department store group said its newer stores, in particular its home stores, led the growth. Johnlewis.com also had a buoyant week with sales up 18.2%.
Electricals and home technology sales surged 14.3% with tablets and TVs among the best sellers. Fashion sales jumped 10.4% with kidswear the star performer with sales up 17.4%.
Meanwhile home sales edged up 3.7% with gifting proving popular and its clearance offer wooing customers.
John Lewis director of selling, north and new format Maggie Porteous said: “With just one full week left of the trading year, we are now shifting to look at the year ahead. We have had a really strong Clearance period and are now poised and ready to welcome our customers for the spring, with great service and some fabulous new stock.”
Waitrose, also owned by the John Lewis Partnership, reported sales increased 5.4% to £114.7m over the week driven by online.
Sales via Waitrose.com soared 60% boosted by its ‘thank you’ gift of a free bottle of champagne with customers’ first January order.
The grocer said the number of orders made over the week rivalled Christmas week.
Healthy food thrived as customers started the year the way they mean to go on. Sales of Essential Waitrose Bran Flakes rocketed 70% while vegetable sales continue to grow.
Sweetcorn and courgettes were up 105% and 76% respectively, chard sales soared 134% and carrot sales were up nearly 120%. Fruit and salads saw solid sales too; soft fruit was up 10%, exotic fruit rose 24%, salads rocketed almost 80% and snacking fruit up nearly 35%.
Shoppers also turned to warming dishes with pre-packed lamb jumping by 18%, pre-packed beef by 12% and sausages by 7%.
Despite the health kick, alcohol sales were still strong. Tequila sales climbed 56%, whisky sales rose 28% and champagne sales were up 22%.
Waitrose commercial director Mark Williamson said: “International is seeing exciting growth with sales 18% up on last year and sales at our shops in Welcome Break motorway service stations up by 40%. Next month we will look to build on that with the opening of two new stores at Corley South and Telford.”