John Lewis sales rise after Windows 8 launch.

Sales at John Lewis department stores rose 4.3% to £72.2m last week, driven by online and technology.

Online revenues climbed 39% while electricals was up 10.5% in the week to November 2, driven by a “superb” start for the new computers with the Windows 8 operating system.

Fashion sales rose 3.9% while the home division recorded a 0.6% uplift.

John Lewis electricals and home technology buying director Ed Connolly said: “Our newest shop in Exeter deserves to be mentioned as it continues to track well ahead of expectations.

“With further technology launches in electricals and home technology to come, the prospect of colder weather on the horizon and our shops, online presentation and assortments in such good shape, we have every opportunity to break records as we head towards peak.”

The majority of the retailer’s stores recorded like-for-like declines against a tough comparative week last year, when it was the half-term holiday. Sales at the Tamworth store fell 36.9%, Chester was down 22.3% and the Stratford City store was down 18.7%. However Poole was up 6.9%.

Sales at grocery stablemate Waitrose advanced 4.9% to £107.25m, helped by Halloween. Sales of scary chocolate characters rose 116% and large pumpkin sales were up 45%.

Convenience store revenues rose 51.6% while online sales climbed 25.7%.

Waitrose finance director Tom Athron said: “Our customers are also continuing to stock up with Christmas goodies early. Seasonal confectionery has already shot up by 80% on last year, and Christmas puddings by a fantastic 150%.”