John Lewis sales increased 6.9% on a year ago in the week to March 1, just ahead of the retailer’s performance in the year to date.

John Lewis weekly sales 7 March 2014

Sales at John Lewis increased to £68.76m in the week, compared with £64.34m in the same week last year. Online sales rose 23.5% compared with the same week last year.

Head of format development Tim Harrison said it was a “sound” performance after a few warmer days sneaked into the week.

Fashion performed well, with sales rising 7.5%. The home category was down 0.2%, and electronics and technology increased 12.5%.

Harrison said: “The weather is still mixed, but there are real moments of spring in the air. With new product appearing across all assortments and customers clearly responding to both warmth and newness we look set for a good week. There is a freshness across all the channels signalling the start of a new season.”

At sister retailer Waitrose, sales were up 7.1% in the week to March 1 compared with the same time last year.

Total sales rose to £121.55m from £114.47m this time last year.

Supply chain director David Jones said online performed well: “ continues to power ahead with the number of online grocery shopping orders placed this week up a stunning 85% on the same time last year.”

He added that pancake day meant sales of butterscotch sauce rose 100%.