Sales at department store business John Lewis rose 6% last week to £78.7m as clothing performance benefited from autumn’s arrival.

John Lewis weekly sales to September 19

Fashion sales rose 12.4% in the week to September 19, when womenswear was up almost 19%.

John Lewis at home head of selling Liz Mihell said: “Cold weather merchandise for all the buying offices did well with cashmere featuring as a top performer and working well alongside new season’s stock.”

Sales of home goods rose 3.2%. Performance was led by textiles, up 7%, and gifting and accessories which were ahead by 6%.

Demand for vision, mobile and Apple products meant electricals and home technology sales rose 2.9%.

Online sales climbed 21.1%, helped by demand for fashion lines. Many stores were down year on year but the Exeter branch notched up an 18.6% rise.

Mihell said: “Autumn is just around the corner and all the signs are that the new season’s fashion and home assortments are hitting the mark with customers.”

Sales at sister grocer Waitrose edged down 0.1% over the week to £120.8m, versus a tough comparative last year when there was more marketing activity and voucher redemption.

The Rugby World Cup stoked demand for sausage rolls and other party food, up 55%, and beer, up 16%.

Waitrose finance director Tom Athron said: “The start of the Rugby World Cup led to a noticeable change in buying patterns, with a shift towards convenient lounge-friendly food that can be shared with family and friends.”