Sales at John Lewis jumped last week, powered by a strong performance in electricals and home technology.

The department store chain notched up year on year sales growth of 32.4% in the week to April 28. Total sales for the first 13 weeks of the financial year, to April 28, advanced 12.2%.

Electricals and home technology delivered growth of 62.6% for the week. Total sales in the category rose 31% over the 13 weeks. Highlights included IT, vision - which benefited from the digital switchover and the forthcoming summer of sport - and large electricals, which had its best ever week outside of January Clearance.

Home also performed strongly, up 25% for the week and up 4.9% over 13 weeks. Big ticket items including beds and bedroom furniture, floor coverings and upholstery all did well. 

Fashion sales over the week jumped 18.6%, and 6.6% over 13 weeks. Men’s outerwear had a “significant” boost as a result of the wet weather but sandals and sunglasses both fell 60%.

The year-on-year comparisons benefited from the timing last year of Easter and the royal wedding.

John Lewis buying director, electricals and home technology, Ed Connolly said: “A really pleasing set of results from retail, with all shops in positive figures and with strength in both regions, complemented by a great performance from at homes and our online business at +69.4 per cent versus last year. So, overall a positive week.”

At Waitrose, total sales soared 10.3% year-on-year excluding petrol. Cumulative sales for the first 13 weeks were 6.8% higher than last year.

Revenue hit £109.1m over the week as the wet weather drove sales - umbrella sales rocketed 5,000% year-on-year.

There was also strong demand for comfort food. Fresh pasta sales rose by 35% and sauces 34%. Shoppers also thought of their “feathered friends” during the wet conditions according to the grocer - sales of wild bird food soared 71% over the week.