John Lewis sales rose 13.5% to £65.76m last week as sales of winter wear and boots surged amid snow-hit Britain.

Compared to a warm week the previous year, the retailer said shoppers switched to warm clothing in the week to March 23.

Online sales rose 20.4%. Fashion sales rose 5.3%, electricals and home technology rose 22.4% while sales in its home department rose 13%.

John Lewis operations director Dino Rocos said: “When compared to the equivalent (very hot) week last year, last week’s unseasonably cold weather has, not surprisingly, impacted the pattern of our sales with some store opening hours affected by heavy snow.

“Fashion struggled the most in the cold weather with customers swapping demand from full-price new season products to last season’s winter products including knitwear.”

He added: “We are now facing into Easter and school holidays with an incredibly strong marketing campaign, including the Easter Weekend Event and the Shop Spring daily offers.”

Swindon was the strongest performing store with sales up 33.7% while Sheffield was the worst performer, down 7.3%.

Sister grocer Waitrose recorded sale up 14.5% as shoppers stocked up on food amid the snow. Online sales rose 61.3%.

Waitrose finance director Tom Athron said: Snowfall across much of the country prompted shoppers to stock up on warming food and drink - this was in stark contract to the same time last year when the warmer weather saw shoppers dusting off their barbecues.”