Last week’s snowy weather resulted in a 56% surge in department store chain John Lewis’s internet sales.

John Lewis director of operational development Andrew Murphy described the performance as “stunning” and said fashion sales had been especially strong.

The strength of online helped the chain restrict its sales decline to 1.4% in the week to January 9, when it turned over £53.8m.

All John Lewis stores opened every day during the cold weather but some shut early on Tuesday and Wednesday. Murphy said: “It is in weeks such as this that our multichannel offer delivers its ultimate value.”

Sister chain Waitrose recorded a 21.8% sales leap to £92.5m over the week, as shoppers stocked up with warming winter food and staples.

Sales of frozen chips, fishfingers and beans all climbed and milk sales were up 28%.

Retail director Tony Solomons said Waitrose reacted well to the cold weather: “Partners across the business were outstanding, struggling into work despite the conditions in order to keep us trading.

“The supply chain excelled with the provisioning, warehouse and transport teams doing brilliantly to keep stock flowing.”

John Lewis Partnership sales were 12.1% to £146.4m over the week