John Lewis sales were up 31.9% last week, helped by weak comparatives from last year when heavy snow hit most of the country.

All but four branches recorded double digit increases - with Milton Keynes leading the way with a 60% rise - and the sales were also 9.3% up on two years ago. Fashion led the way with sales up 42%, and Valentine’s related lines were up 67%. Online sales were up 47.6%.

Waitrose’s growth was modest by comparison, up 9% on last year, with a strong showing from Valentine’s themed product such as cupcakes and chocolate hearts. Its new “Menu from Waitrose” range made its debut in stores and commercial director Richard Hodgson said it received a “fantastic response” from customers.