Department stores faring less well
John Lewis Partnership has said year-on-year sales for the week ending July 23 rose by 9.6 per cent, largely thanks to Waitrose gains. However, the department store division reported rise of just 0.9 per cent.

The group racked up sales of£104.5 million for the week, with Waitrose growing 16.2 per cent year on year, largely on increased selling space.

Cumulative half-year figures to date paint a less positive picture, with department store sales down year on year by 1.6 per cent. Waitrose's cumulative half-year sales are up 16.7 per cent, bringing group gains to 9.5 per cent for the same period.

The retailer said the department store business enjoyed a lift in footfall, boosted by the cooler weather. Waitrose benefited from sales of seasonal products such as skin care and barbecues. However, it said sales suffered as a result of the ongoing terrorist incidents in central London. The retailer said: 'The further terrorist incidents on Thursday [July 21] caused further disruption to transport, to which partners once again responded admirably.'