Sales at John Lewis department stores were sluggish in the week week to October 8, when the continuing hot weather in the south at the start of the period proved a drag on sales.

Revenues were down 0.6% excluding VAT, up 1.2% including VAT. Glasgow, Leicester, Trafford and Sheffield were the only four stores to record an increase, while five shops - Bluewater, Cribbs Causeway, Croydon, Cardiff and Reading showed double-digit declines. sales rose 13.4%, half the rate for the half-year so far.

Computing, small electricals and beauty were strong performing categories, while big ticket furniture - with the exception of beds - did poorly. Director Maggie Porteous said this week had started strongly with a double digit-sales increase last Sunday.

Sales at sister supermarket business Waitrose increased 10.4% on the comparable week last year. During the period the grocer launched its ‘1000s of Ways to Save’ campaign, with a particular focus on the Essential Waitrose range, sales of which climbed 11.5% last week.