The snow, swine flu, and subdued consumer sentiment conspired to keep shoppers away from stores in December.

But it wasn’t a universal effect. With John Lewis the first to release any figures for the Christmas trading period it is clear to see the impact that its increased focus on multichannel retailing is having on the business.

Online sales for the five weeks to Jan 1st were up 42% on last year. The department store retailer says that online sales soared during the first snowfall. But the second snowfall, closer to Christmas prompted customers to come to its stores to be sure of receiving their goods.

Back in September, John Lewis said that 17% of online orders were fulfilled through click-and-collect. And with it having found out that the number one reason for customers choosing this method being surety of stock it’s likely that this figure will have been rising the closer it got to Christmas.

Online retail in some cases was caught short by the snow during peak trading, but multichannel retail proved that there is a place for both stores and the web in the retail mix.

Get the lowdown on where multichannel retail is heading with Retail Week’s first research report on the subject Multichannel Now. Read the excerpt that was published in late November and find details of how to purchase the digital version of the full report here.