John Lewis sales rose 7.1% to £91m last week as its much-anticipated Christmas advert launched.

The department store’s online growth soared 23.1% over the week ending Saturday night.

However it was down slightly week on week as half term figures and the iPad Air launch proved hard to beat.

John Lewis launched its Christmas TV advert featuring the Bear and the Hare, which was shown on social media channels on Friday and in a standalone ad break during Saturday’s X Factor on ITV – a first for the programme, as revealed by Retail Week.

The video is the most popular UK video on YouTube with 2.6 million hits and took only 24 hours to reach 1 million views, against the three days it took last year’s ad to reach the same point.

The Bear and the Hare soft toys were amongst the retailer’s top sellers over the week.

In fashion, sales were boosted by the drop in temperature with pent-up demand driving sales. Womenswear jumped 6.3% year on year, menswear was up 6.8% and kidswear surged 16.1%.

Cashmere was a top seller across womenswear along with accessories such as leather gloves.

John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: “We have seen an overwhelming response from the British public to our TV advert. I don’t think anyone could have anticipated the reaction we’ve had, and while we’re surprised by the interest in the ad, we are pleased that our customers have responded in such a positive way.

“In terms of trade, the cooler weather has resulted in pleasing results for our fashion assortments as people start to buy for the winter season, which we hope to see build through November. In technology, the iPad Air continues to be a bestseller, and together with a strong performance from televisions, the signs are pointing to us having a tech Christmas again this year.”