John Lewis’s new format home store in Poole has got off to a strong start, with sales 30% above expectations.

The store, called John Lewis at Home, had to extend its opening hours on day one to cope with the volume of customers.

Overall the department store chain enjoyed another good week, with sales up 9.1% on the same week last year However the performances were against soft comparables and operational development director Andrew Murphy warned that two-year comparisons “remind us we are not yet trading at a level that could allow us to relax or believe that sustained growth will come easy at any point in the near future.”

The home category delivered the biggest sales increase with furniture especially strong, while fashion and electricals were also strongly up. The out of town shopping centre stores at Bluewater and Trafford were the best performers, both up 13.5%.

Sister grocery chain Waitrose also fared well, up 15.1%. Halloween and bonfire night proved big drivers of sales. Pumpkins were up 31% compared with last year.