Sales at John Lewis department stores slipped 1.4% last week to £51.8m as warm weather and the peak holiday period took a toll. Excluding VAT the decline was 3.3%.

Fashion sales also fell by 1.4%, but electricals and technology nudged up by 0.7% - demand for products such as fans and air conditioning meant white goods revenues rose 9%.

The home category remained subdued and sales were down 2.7%. However online sales growth continued to be strong and turnover climbed 21.1% in the period to August 6.

John Lewis head of multichannel Simon Russell said: “With the British Retail Consortium confirming very tough trading right across the high street, we should be pleased at how we have navigated the difficult trading conditions better than most.

“It continues to be a team effort with shops and online supporting each other to give customers an inspirational and hassle-free shopping experience regardless of how they shop with us, right from the research phase through to offering excellent after-sales service.”

Sales at grocery chain Waitrose advanced 10.3% over the week to £98.9m.