Strong Valentine’s Day sales fuelled a “cracking” performance at John Lewis last week.

Cold weather combined with Valentine’s and an extra day of trading all played in the department stores favour as sales rose 13% on last year to £58.4m for the week to February 18.

The retailer’s benefitted from strong half-term footfall as 22 of its 33 stores improved their performance.

Online sales grew 38% on last year, fuelled by new product launches across its range.

Fashion sales increased by 13.1% with childrenswear up 20% and jewellery up 22%.

Valentine’s was also key to a 7.8% sales uplift at Waitrose to £106.06m.

John Lewis head of selling operations, Maggie Porteous said: “Trade was particularly strong in the early part of the week with double-figure increases from Monday through to Friday, but the pace slowed a bit on Saturday - as often happens at half term - as our customers enjoyed the last couple of days before their kids returned to school.

“As we move into next week, we have stiffer figures against us from half term last year but we do have the benefit this year of an earlier fall of Mother’s Day and Easter, our shops are looking stunning with some beautiful assortments and the weather is turning warmer, which should get our customers thinking about their wardrobes and new purchases for their homes.”

Waitrose finance director Tom Athron said: “Our Valentine’s Day meal deal demonstrated the continuing trend for dining at home.

“Other halves were treated to a choice of a starter, main course, two side dishes, dessert and either wine or chocolates.”