Bellwether John Lewis sales rose 2.4% to £62.31m last week as its price matching stance and warmer weather helped drive sales.
Fashion did particularly well in the warm conditions. John Lewis customers took advantage of its “sensational seasonal assortment”. Sunglasses, the John Lewis Collection and - in Menswear - linen trousers, shorts and swimwear sold well.
John Lewis said it achieved the strong result despite the threat of fuel shortages and the lack of Mother’s Day in the week.
In electricals, home and technology, the retailer said it had a “tremendous week with sales impressively up on last year”. Sales were driven by strong performances in vision, large electricals and IT.
Home had a more “variable” week as the strong comparatives - Mother’s Day fell in the comparable week last year - impacted sales, especially in accessories and gifts.
However, the department store chain said furniture had a “stronger week as the good weather reminded customers that Easter is a time to be in the garden”.
Johnlewis.com had an “outstanding” week with sales soaring 37%. The website had its busiest trading day of the year on Monday.
John Lewis head of online Jonathon Brow said: “The focus is now on making sure we capitalise on the outstanding assortment we have in shops and online, and the fantastic range of promotions and activities we have planned for this Easter weekend. There are more reasons than ever to shop with John Lewis.”
Waitrose sales rose 6.3% to £110.2m in the week ending March 31 as the school holidays, preparations for the Easter weekend and the unseasonably warm weather drove sales.
Heston from Waitrose Earl Grey & Mandarin Hot Cross Buns have been “flying off the shelves”, with sales rocketing 63% this week.
Barbecue meats soared 270% as Brits welcomed the warm weather. Picnic food “saw a significant uplift”.
Online shopping orders at Waitrose.com were up 35.1%.